The Collector

The Collector

David Douglas and the Natural History of the Northwest
by Jack Nisbet

Equal parts biography, natural history, and travelogue, Jack Nisbet tells the story of David Douglas, the 19th century Scottish naturalist and botanical explorer—perfect for amateur naturalists and armchair historians of the Pacific Northwest 

The Collector tracks Douglas’s fascinating history, from his humble birth in Scotland in 1799 to his botanical training under the famed William Jackson Hooker, and details his adventures in North America discovering exotic new plants for the English and European market. Douglas’s discoveries include hundreds of western plants–most notably the Douglas Fir. 

The book takes readers along on Douglas’s journeys into a literal brave new world of then-obscure realms from Puget Sound to the Sandwich Islands. 

“In telling Douglas’s story, Nisbet evokes a lost world of early exploration, pristine nature, ambition, and cultural and class conflict with surprisingly modern resonances.” Bookmarks Magazine 

“An exhilarating biography that provides an entertaining portrait of the unfettered determination that drove one of the giants in the field of botanical exploration and infused the young nation he viewed with a keen and zealous spirit.” Booklist

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