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Lunar Lecture – Erasmus Darwin’s Gardens by Professor Paul Elliott
22nd August 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm£6.00
Erasmus Darwin’s Gardens by Professor Paul Elliott, Derby University
The role of the botanic garden near Lichfield in Erasmus Darwin’s career is well known, especially the inspiration it provided for his poetry, but he also kept gardens and what he called an orchard or farm when living in Derby. This talk examines the relationships between Darwin’s gardens at Lichfield and Derby and his work in medicine, botany and natural history, represented especially by the Botanic Garden (1791), Zoonomia (1794/6) and Phytologia (1800). It shows how Darwin’s encounters with the Lichfield botanic garden and his other green (and blue) places and the plants (and animals) within them challenged and enriched his knowledges of medicine, natural history and natural philosophy, including his understanding of Linnaean botany, plant classification, vegetable physiology and chemistry. Employing a wealth of sources, the evidence for the formation, design, planting and usage of Darwin’s gardens is reviewed and we see how valuable they were to his communities of family, friends and patients as resources and sociable places.
Darwin’s gardens were more far than just places where plants grew and provide insights his medical and scientific philosophies and outlook on life.
This lecture will be held on zoom