Selling Beautiful Knowledge: Amateurship, botany and the market-place in late eighteenth-century France

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Abstract

This article examines how botany was made attractive to broader audiences in France in the 1770s and 1780s. Two transitions significantly defined the nature of public participation: developing ideas about botanical amateurship, and expanding consumer culture. Although these have rarely been considered in relation to each other, both determined how the French public engaged with natural knowledge. Drawing evidence from commercial advertisements and books on botany and horticulture, this article considers the cultural resources used to engage readers, which implicitly defined who might botanise. This cultural construction of botany both reflected and actively determined its social place in eighteenth-century France.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-543
JournalJournal for Eighteenth-Century Studies
Volume36
Issue number4
Early online date13 Nov 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

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