Recollections of a Happy Life, Being the Autobiography of Marianne North

Marianne North | Recollections of a Happy Life, Being the Autobiography of Marianne North

Marianne North (1830–90), the Victorian amateur botanist and painter, travelled to distant countries of the world to paint exotic flora in their natural surroundings. This two-volume collection of her memoirs, edited by her sister and published in 1892, records North’s remarkable travels. Laden with her palettes and easels, the independent North travelled alone and fended for herself. Her journals describe how she endured swarms of insects, scaled cliffs, trudged through wilderness and crossed swamps in order to reach the plants she wanted to paint. Volume 1 describes North’s early upbringing and the origins of her enthusiasm for nature, and traces her travels through Canada and the United States, Jamaica, Brazil, Japan and India. Volume 2 covers North’s travels to Australasia, which she undertook at the suggestion of Charles Darwin. The work concludes with the last journey she made, to Chile in 1884–5, to paint the monkey-puzzle tree.

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