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“…what a great many Authors have said…”: Learning about New World Plants in Early Modern Europe
March 21, 2013
Jerusha Westbury, Ph.D. candidate in history at New York University and 2013 Resident Fellow at the Linda Hall Library.
The arrival of Columbus in the Western Hemisphere initiated an unprecedented movement of flora and fauna between the eastern and western hemispheres that historians have called the Columbian Exchange. How did people make sense of this exchange in an era when print information was still in its infancy? By looking at the “biography” of one American plant, the prickly pear, Jerusha Westbury, PhD Candidate in history at New York University, will explore some of the problems Europeans faced when trying to make sense of the world they had “discovered.”