Cultural Writing. Natural History. Art. Images by Stephen J. Joseph; foreword by David Rains Wallace. Stunned into awe by the orchid Calypso borealis, John Muir wrote: "I never before saw a plant so full of life, so perfectly spiritual, it seemed pure enough for the throne of its Creator." Muir was blessed throughout his life with a love of plants. He tucked away interesting specimens from wherever he traveled, sent them to herbariums all over the country, and wrote passionately of them to friends and colleagues. Skilled in the technical aspects of botany, Muir also found in plants "pleasure so deep, so pure, so endless." The revelatory beauty of plants provided inspiration that suffused his career as a writer, adventurer, and environmental advocate. In this opulently produced book, photographer Stephen J. Joseph presents images of plants collected directly by Muir, while scholar Bonnie J. Gisel richly lays before us the life and words of a man at once familiar and surprising, a towering figure forever smitten with "nature's irresistible, divine beauty."
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