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Carl Peter Thunberg, Botanist and Physician:
Career-Building across the Oceans in the Eighteenth Century
(Uppsala: Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, 2014) (140909)
The Swedish botanist and physician Carl Peter Thunberg, a pupil of Linnaeus,
was the only European scientist who visited and published his observations of
Tokugawa Japan in the eighteenth century. On his way to and from Japan, he
visited territories in the Dutch colonial empire: the Cape Colony, Batavia (present-
day Jakarta), and Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Following his return to Sweden, he made a
spectacular career at the University of Uppsala. He published a ground-breaking
work on Japanese plants, Flora Japonica (1784), and a travel account that was
translated into several languages. In 1787 the Swedish king Gustav III, on Thunberg’s
initiative, founded a new Botanical Garden and a monumental building for natural history – Linneanum,
now the home of the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS) – as a gift to the university.
Marie-Christine Skuncke reconstructs Thunberg’s scientific career by exploring exchanges within the
networks which he built in Europe, the Dutch colonies, and Tokugawa Japan. Drawing on a wide range
of sources, this book is a study of social practices in natural history, in a global perspective.
Marie-Christine Skuncke is Professor of Literature at Uppsala University and a Former Fellow of SCAS.
The book is published by SCAS with generous support from Riksbankens Jubileumsfond.
ISBN: 9789198194807, 2014, 376 p., hardback, SEK 259 SEK excl. VAT (SEK 275 incl. VAT)
To order the book, please visit this page: Bokorder/eddy