The Life of Linnaeus


The celebrated Swedish naturalist. To which is added, a short account of the botanical systems of Linnaeus and Jussieu, with a slight glance at the discoveries of Goëthe, the great German poet.

Compiled from authentic sources by D.C. Carr, master of the classical school Fakenham and lecturer on botany, physiology, etc.

Quid virtus et quid sapientia possit Utile proposuit nobis exemplar.
— Horace


Printed by James Shalders


Bibliographic Information


Written by Daniel C. Carr - published by James Shalders in 1837 - original from Northwestern University - digitised by Google in 2010, December 20th - 111 pages, of which 87 are relevant - category: botany and biography - subjects: Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778), Antoine Laurent de Jussieu (1748-1836), Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832).

Google Books has a free ebook version of the book: a digitised version of the original, as well as a text version, though the latter contains some missing letters and extra symbols.

You can find the book for free on the following site(s)




I found the dedication to be rather lovely. Mostly because, apart from the religious parts, it resembles some of my own feelings around botany and my study of it.

My Dear Boy,

I know no one more worthy of the respect which the dedication of a book implies than yourself. Although now only eleven years old, you have already been a source of pure delight and satisfaction, to me, and your affectionate mother. Well do I remember the time, when your vain attempts to articulate the simplest words of your native tongue, used to excite our mirth by their failure. From that time to the present, I have ever found you most obedient, teachable, and eager to profit by instruction. I say not this with a view to render you vain in your own eyes—for I trust you will always well reflect, that “every good gift, and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights”—but I mention it to encourage you in your future progress. Persevere, my child, in the path of knowledge and virtue; and if it please God to prolong your life to man’s estate, let it be your main object to render yourself serviceable to your fellow-creatures, and thus profitably employ the talent committed to your care.

You are aware, that it is my intention almost immediately to instruct you in the delightful science of botany. I have waited only until you should be sufficiently acquainted with the Latin and Greek languages, to enable you to pursue it with accuracy, and an enlightened perception of its principles; for although such a preparatory knowledge is not absolutely necessary to form a botanist, it is attended with many decided advantages. To explain to your youthful mind every particular on this head would be needless—I shall merely observe, that most of the terms used in this, as well as in every other science; are derived from those languages; and that to every plant, in the classification of Linnaeus, are allotted two names, which it requires a knowledge of syntactical construction to express correctly.

This first step you have happily accomplished, and may now enter upon the study with a probability of success. I promise myself much happiness in guiding your early progress, but, if I divine aright, you will soon be enabled to pursue your inquiries without my assistance; for so fascinating and easy is this science, after the elementary principles have been properly explained, and so connected are its various parts, that an intelligent and discriminating pupil will find much of his labour anticipated, by the acquisition of some previous fact.

Let the example of the great Linnaeus stimulate you to perseverance. The first thought which occurred to me of dedicating this little book to you, was suggested, by an admiration of that great man’s juvenile powers of observation, and the habit of method which characterised every period of his life. Imitate him in all the virtues he possessed, and shun his failings. If with such a spirit you devote yourself to this beautiful study, I feel an assured conviction that it will have the effect on your mind which I earnestly desire—namely, a veneration of the wisdom and benevolence of the Creator, and a fixed resolution to obey his commands. I am,


Your most affectionate Father,



January, 1837.