Of German origin, Ferdinand von Mueller migrated to Australia in 1847. Government Botanist of Victoria for 43 years until his death in 1896, he was Australia’s greatest scientist of the 19th century – a major contributor to international science, an intrepid explorer of parts of Australia previously unknown to Europeans, and a dominant figure in the scientific and intellectual life of his adopted country.
Throughout his working life, Mueller kept up an enormous correspondence. Large numbers of letters by or to him have been located throughout the world, and edited for publication. These constitute a major new research tool for both Australian historians and historians of science. They are also of fundamental importance to Australian taxonomic botany, for Mueller introduced vast numbers of Australian plants to western science.
This is the third and final volume of Mueller’s selected correspondence. It covers the last two decades of his life – his most productive period from a scientific point of view – including his work as Government Botanist of Victoria; his multifarious contributions to taxonomy, biogeography and economic botany; his engagement with the exploration of inland Australia, New Guinea and Antarctica; his manifold links with international science; and his evolving personal circumstances as one of the leading citizens of his adopted country. This volume contains a substantial historical introduction, and a further extension of the editorial apparatus developed in previous volumes.