OF ELEPHANTS & ROSES: French Natural History, 1790-1830

To order a copy of the book, please email the APS’s distributor at fulfillment@dianepublishing.net.

Click here to see sample pages from the book.

Scroll down to download free digital preprints from Of Elephants & Roses: French Natural History, 1790-1830. Due to copyright restrictions, these preprints are not illustrated. They are for personal, non-commercial, or educational use only and may not be reproduced.

Of Elephants & Roses: French Natural History, 1790-1830 is an anthology of scholarly essays from a 2011 symposium associated with the APS Museum exhibition Of Elephants & Roses: Encounters with French Natural History, 1790 – 1830. The symposium, titled “Of Pictures & Specimens: Natural History in Post-Revolutionary and Restoration France,” brought together scholars from the United States and France. Included were presentations on topics related to natural history, from the role of artists and gardeners in botanical science and the representations of a giraffe’s African keepers to the influence of natural history on Balzac’s writing and on the birth of the social sciences. Participants brought interdisciplinary perspectives from material culture, the histories of art and science, visual studies, botany, decorative arts, and cultural history.

Of Elephants & Roses, edited by APS Museum Director and Curator Sue Ann Prince, contains all sixteen talks, the keynote and concluding addresses, the session commentaries, edited transcripts of the audience discussions, and a checklist of the exhibition. The book is illustrated throughout in full color.

Both the symposium and the publication have been made possible by generous funding from the Richard Lounsbery Foundation.

Image from J. P. Hoüel, Histoire naturelle des deux éléphans (Paris, 1803). Courtesy of The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Ewell Sale Stewart Library

PDF preprints from Of Elephants & Roses: French Natural History, 1790-1830.

Keynote: Civilizing Specimens and Citizens at the Muséum d’Histoire naturelle, 1793–1838
—Richard W. Burkhardt, Jr.

About Gardens and Gardening

Empress Josephine and the Natural Sciences
—Bernard Chevallier

Josephine as Shepherdess: Estate Management at Malmaison
—Susan Taylor-Leduc

Of Cabbages and Kings: The Politics of Planting Vegetables at the Revolutionary Jardin des Plantes
—Paula Young Lee

Seed Origins: New Varieties of Fruits and Vegetables around Paris at the Turn of the Nineteenth Century
—Antoine Jacobsohn

Cultivating Useful Knowledge

André Michaux and French Botanical Diplomacy in the Cultural Construction of Natural History in the Atlantic World
—Elizabeth Hyde

The “Elephant in the Room”: The Impact of the French Seizure of the Dutch Stadholder’s Collection on Relations Between Dutch and French Naturalists
—Elise Lipkowitz

Making Art, Communicating Science

Picturing Nature in a Natural History Museum: The Engravings of the Annales du Muséum d’Histoire naturelle, 1802-13
—Pierre-Yves Lacour

Representing Animals with Empathy, 1793–1810
—Madeleine Pinault Sørensen

Botany and the Painting of Flowers: Intersections of the Natural Sciences and the Visual Arts in Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth-Century France
—Dorothy Johnson

The Giraffe’s Keepers and the (Dis)play of Difference
—Daniel Harkett

The Visual Terms of Cultural Encounters: Petit and Cuvier’s Australian Experiment
—Anne Lafont

Natural History and French Culture

The Quest for “Lost Worlds”: Intellectual Revolutions and Mutations of the Imagination at the Turn of the Nineteenth Century
—Claudine Cohen

Social Species in the Comédie humaine: Balzac’s use of Natural History
—Göran Blix

The Animal Series and the Genesis of Socialism
—John Tresch

Domesticating the Exotic: The Giraffe Craze and French Consumer Culture
—Denise Z. Davidson

An Egyptian Giraffe and Six Osage Indians: An Exotic Plea Against the Censorship of 1827
—Alain Lescart