New Book | Of Elephants & Roses: French Natural History, 1790–1830

Posted in books, catalogues by Editor on September 1, 2013



Design by Marc Blaustein           

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Published by APS and available from Diane Publishing:

Sue Ann Prince, ed., Of Elephants & Roses: French Natural History, 1790–1830 (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 2013), 294 pages, ISBN: 9780871692672, $50.

Of Elephants & Roses explores the fascinating history of the natural sciences in the turbulent years of post-revolutionary and Restoration France, from Empress Josephine’s black swans and rare Franklin tree to a giraffe that walked 480 miles across France to greet the king. This illustrated book is the catalogue for an international loan exhibition held in 2011 at the APS Museum in Philadelphia and the record of an associated interdisciplinary symposium. It presents new perspectives on French natural history, its influence on French culture, and its ties to the natural sciences in North America.


From J. P. Hoüel, Histoire naturelle des deux éléphans (Paris, 1803)

Edited by APS Museum director and curator Sue Ann Prince, the catalogue contains all sixteen talks, the keynote and concluding addresses, the session commentaries, edited transcripts of the audience discussions, and a checklist of the exhibition. Contributors include art historians, historians of science, and scholars of French literature, history, and culture. The book is illustrated throughout in full color. Both the symposium and the publication have been made possible by generous funding from the Richard Lounsbery Foundation.

About the APS

An eminent scholarly organization of international reputation, the American Philosophical Society promotes useful knowledge in the sciences and humanities through excellence in scholarly research, professional meetings, support of young scholars, publications, library resources, and a museum. This country’s first learned society, the APS has played an important role in American cultural and intellectual life for more than 250 years.

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