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Book competition

27 October 2017

This week’s competition prize is Joseph Banks’ Florilegium: Botanical Treasures from Cook’s First Voyage (Thames & Hudson; £65). Click here for your chance to win.

Joseph Banks accompanied Captain Cook on his first voyage round the world from 1768 to 1771. A gifted and wealthy young naturalist, Banks collected exotic flora from Madeira, Brazil, Tierra del Fuego, the Society Islands, New Zealand, Australia and Java, bringing back over 1300 species that had never been seen or studied by Europeans. On his return, Banks commissioned over 700 superlative engravings between 1772 and 1784. Known collectively as Banks’ Florilegium, they are some of the most precise and exquisite examples of botanical illustration ever created.

The Florilegium was never published in Banks’ lifetime, and it was not until 1990 that a complete set in colour was issued in a boxed edition (limited to 100 copies). It is from these prints that the present selection is made, directed by David Mabberley, who has provided expert botanical commentaries, with additional texts by art historian Mel Gooding, setting the works in context as a perfect conjunction of nature, science and art. An afterword by Joseph Studholme describes the history of the modern printing.

For your chance to win simply answer the following question and submit your details here before midday on 10 November.

Q: What was the name of the ship commanded by James Cook on his first expedition to the South Pacific?

For our last competition prize we offered Cats in Art by Desmond Morris, published by Reaktion Books (£25). The question was:

Q: Which 19th-century French painter had a black cat called Zizi, which appears in several of his works?

Answer: Édouard Manet

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