Sir Joseph Banks (1743-1820), botanist and patron of science, was a pivotal figure in eighteenth-century intellectual circles. He travelled around the world with Captain Cook as naturalist on the Endeavour (1768-1771), exploring first Tahiti, then Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia, and contributed GBP10,000 of his personal wealth to help finance the expedition. He became President of the Royal Society and scientific adviser to the Royal Gardens at Kew, counting George III as a personal friend. He both helped plan the first penal colony in New South Wales, and bred Merino sheep to be farmed there. He promoted the geological mapping of England, Flinders' circumnavigation of Australia, and the transfer of breadfruit from the Pacific to the West Indies (the objective of the Bounty voyage that ended in mutiny). This 1911 study, based on extensive archival research, was the first detailed biography of this remarkable and influential man.
Preface; 1. Early years; 2. Round the world with Captain Cook; 3. Visit to Iceland. Cook's second and third voyages; 4. President of the Royal Society; 5. The Royal Society continued; 6. Kew Gardens. George III; 7. Plant collectors; 8. Bligh's voyages in the 'Bounty' and 'Providence'; 9. Various adventures; 10. Maecenas and his happenings; 11. The Scoffer abroad; 12. European fame; 13. The founding of Australia; 14. Captain Flinders and Robert Brown; 15. Icelandic affairs; 16. The rise of new learned societies; 17. Revival of botanical exploration; 18. Failing health, but unflagging zeal; 19. Some friends of later years; 20. 'A fine old English gentleman'; 21. The end; Index.