American Curiosity: Cultures of Natural History in the Colonial British Atlantic World
Susan Scott Parrish
Colonial America presented a new world of natural curiosities for settlers as well as the London-based scientific community. Parrish examines how various peoples in the British colonies understood and represented the natural world around them from the late 16th century through the 18th. Rather than flowing strictly from metropole to colony, scientific knowledge about America emerged from a horizontal exchange of information across the Atlantic. Parrish finds that Anglo-American nonelites, women, Indians, and enslaved Africans all played crucial roles in gathering and relaying new information to Europe.