Skip to main content

Joseph Banks

A Life

One of our greatest writers about the sea has written an engrossing story of one of history’s most legendary maritime explorers. Patrick O’Brian’s biography of naturalist, explorer and co-founder of Australia, Joseph Banks, is narrative history at its finest. Published to rave reviews, it reveals Banks to be a man of enduring importance, and establishes itself as a classic of exploration.

"It is in his description of that arduous three-year voyage [on the ship Endeavor] that Mr. O’Brian is at his most brilliant. . . . He makes us understand what life within this wooden world was like, with its 94 male souls, two dogs, a cat and a goat."—Linda Colley, New York Times

"An absorbing, finely written overview, meant for the general reader, of a major figure in the history of natural science."—Frank Stewart, Los Angeles Times

"[This book is] the definitive biography of an extraordinary subject."—Robert Taylor, Boston Globe

"His skill at narrative and his extensive knowledge of the maritime history . . . give him a definite leg up in telling this . . . story."—Tom Clark, San Francisco Chronicle

330 pages | 6 halftones, 2 maps, 6 line drawings | 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 | © 1993

Biography and Letters

Biological Sciences: Natural History

History of Science

Table of Contents

1: Origins. Education. Botany
2: Newfoundland and Labrador
3: The Royal Society. Solander. the Endeavour Voyage
4: Tahiti and the Transit of Venus
5: New Zealand. Botany Bay and the Great Barrier Reef
6: Home Again. Resolution. Iceland
7: The Great Florilegium. Omai. Soho Square
8: President of the Royal Society. Marriage. the King and Kew. Botany Bay
9: HM’s Sheep. Plant Collectors. Bligh and Bounty. Revolution in France
10: War. New South Wales. the Privy Council
11: Trouble in Sydney and Iceland. Declining Health. the End
12: His Will, and some Letters

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press