|Pages/Publication Date:||176 / 2017|
Returning in 1771 from a voyage with James Cook, botanist Joseph Banks was mocked in the press for having his pants stolen while he was inside the tent of Queen Oberea of Tahiti. But as the author of An Entertainment for Angelsposits here, 18th-century botany was already influenced by sexuality, and imperial aspirations as well; Banks and Sweden's Carl Linnaeus promoted exploration to justify exploiting territories, peoples, and natural resources. Regarding natives with disdain, these two trailblazers portrayed the Arctic North and the Pacific Ocean as uncorrupted Edens, free of Western sexual mores. Patricia Fara argues that—barely concealed under Banks's and Linnaeus's Enlightenment attitudes—were the usual ruthless drives to conquer in the name of empire.