The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf | Summary & Analysis
The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf is a biography of Alexander von Humboldt, a Prussian naturalist born in 1769. Humboldt had an older brother, Wilhelm. Their father died when they were young, and their mother was emotionally detached from her sons. Alexander and Wilhelm received exacting educations. Alexander became interested in exploration and science, but his mother pressured him to become a civil servant, so he attended a mining academy to become a mine inspector while conducting his own botanical research. He invented new tools for miners, published books on subterranean plants and rocks, and experimented with the effect of electricity on the nervous system.
Wilhelm introduced Alexander von Humboldt to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the renowned author, and they formed a close friendship based on a mutual interest in the intersection of science and art. Humboldt gained an appreciation for aesthetic perspective from Goethe, and Goethe received the latest in scientific information from Humboldt....
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