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Travels of William Bartram

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  112 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
For years, serious naturalists have treasured their copies of Francis Harper's naturalist's edition of The Travels of William Bartram as the definitive version of Bartram's pioneering survey. Complete with notes and commentary, an annotated index, maps, a bibliography, and a general index, this classic is now back in print for the first time in decades. Harper's knowledge ...more
Paperback, 436 pages
Published June 1st 2007 by Cosimo Classics (first published June 1st 1928)
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Douglas Dalrymple
Oct 30, 2014 Douglas Dalrymple rated it really liked it
Just about the time the American colonies were forcibly dissolving the political bands which had connected them to England, William Bartram was running around the wilds of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida looking for undiscovered plants and making sketches of alligators. His father, John Bartram of Philadelphia, was a noted naturalist and proprietor of a profitable nursery that supplied New World trees, shrubs and flowers to Old World gardens (read more about him in Andrea Wulf's The Brother ...more
I'll start by stating that any potential reader of this book should probably have a real love for the subject/content within if you want to finish it. Those things alone are worth 4-5 stars but, unfortunately, they aren't enough to overcome a rather boring read.

I really struggled to get through all 700+ pages and I actually love the material and have done many miles on the Bartram Trail. I'd really been looking forward to reading this, but I just felt no connection with him and it felt so imper
Henry Veggian
Dec 17, 2015 Henry Veggian rated it really liked it
Bartram's book captures, as no other colonial American book does, the transition from Enlightenment neo-classicism to early Romanticism. Every so often Bartram pauses to offer a panoramic view, a habit that anticipates the novels of Cooper. It's clear to see also why Coleridge admired Bartram's book - the early paragraph on the "sublime" in the Travels might be said to anticipate much 19th century writing. In all, this is a remarkable, under-appreciated work that is deceptively easy to read; the ...more
Aug 14, 2007 Christy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people with a great deal more patience than I.
Despite my interest in nature writing and travel narratives, I hated this book. In fact, my boredom with this book was such that when I saw the movie Cold Mountain not long after reading Bartram, the most unbelievable part of the whole movie (and there were many things that were hard to believe in this movie) was that, upon being given a copy of this book, people actually enjoyed it.
Feb 16, 2016 Humphrey rated it liked it
Bartram's a pretty fun dude. Idiosyncratically perceptive when it comes to natural life, communities in nature, and the "volition" of animals and plants, this text is also fascinating for its historical context: the dissolution of colonialism and the rise of the national era, after a wave of indigo and rice plantation failures.
Oct 15, 2007 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
He's a bit sentimental, but a must-read for Floridians. Check out this great description of the crocodile: " Clouds of smoke issue from his dilated nostrils. The earth trembles with his thunder." !!! How can you beat that?
I couldn't get into this one. I didn't last very long, just a couple of chapters. I know that there's good stuff here (I've read some great quotes out of this book), but couldn't get past the sentences that went on for pages to find it. I don't think that I even read enough to rate it.
Aug 17, 2014 Charles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: natural-history
Not a book to read at one sitting but a great reference that provides insight into historical natural history. Also, remember that this book is a collection of field notes and observations. It is depressing to read about the clarity of streams that now are muddy, never to be clear again.
Apr 14, 2015 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting look at exploration of New America in the 1770's. Bartram's inventory of geography and anthropologic finds is an entertaining record of the times.
Nov 08, 2009 Nicolette rated it really liked it
So far, it is a beautiful, lyrical account of the flora of colonial America...I am looking forward to reading more.
Mar 29, 2010 Patrick rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Interesting for cross referencing, and some unique naturalist insights into particular regions/dates. On a whole, not sure if I would visit this one again.
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