IntroductionResearch fellow Staffan Mueller-Wille has contributed an introduction to a new, English translation by Stephen Freer of Musa Cliffortiana, a book that Carl Linnaeus, the famous Swedish naturalist, published in 1736. In this book, Linnaeus described one of the earliest banana trees ever to bear fruit in Europe.
Linnaeus achieved this horticultural feat by replicating tropical conditions for a banana plant that he found in a glass-house in George Clifford's famous garden, the Hartenkamp, in Holland. Musa Cliffortiana (1736) is a remarkable publication which combines baroque eloquence, taxonomic rigor, and biological reasoning.It furnishes one of the earliest examples of a vision for a global application of the life sciences.
The edition contains an introduction by Staffan Mueller-Wille, a facsimile of the original alongside a new English translation by Stephen Freer, a translation of the handwritten annotations found in Linnaeus's own copy of the book, and an annotated bibliography. The Linnean Society hosted a launch event for the book on November 15 2007.