The Invention of Nature: The Adventures of Alexander von Humboldt, the Lost Hero of Science - Andrea Wulf

I´ve just finished the first part and so far it´s very interesting.

 

The first part is about Humboldts childhood and his restless energy, which oozes from the pages. Growing up in the strict Prussian society, with a relentless mother and a clear-cut path right before him, couldn´t have been easy for Humboldt. The more I admire him for his endurance and his path to become one of the most famous Europeans of the time (I didn´t know that, btw).

 

My favorite chapter is the on about Humboldt and Goethe. There is so much I didn´t know about Goethe and learning about his interests in science and nature has been fascinating.

 

And the Danes get mentioned. Eventhough Denmark is a small country, their history is far from being insignificant. From 1666-1917 Denmark had colonies in the West Indies. Their trade consisted mainly of sugarcane (and to some degree they were involved in the slavetrade as well), which got transported to Copenhagen and Flensburg to get refined. As from 1767 and onwards rum got shipped in as well and due to this Flensburg became famous for it´s rum history. They invented the "Rum-Verschnitt". At some point it got too expensive to import rum, so they took the amount of rum they could afford, added cheap undiluted alcohol to the rum and diluted this mixture down with water to a drinking strenght.

(I´m sorry for the history lesson, but it´s the history of where I live and I´m still fascinated by it).

 

I can´t wait to continue with part II.