The Pequod Review:
The Invention of Nature is an extraordinary biography of the explorer and naturalist Alexander Von Humboldt (1769-1859). Despite his enormous popularity during his lifetime, Humboldt would mostly disappear from our collective memory in later years due in no small part to anti-German sentiment. Several recent biographies have attempted to bring him back into proper view, and this is the best one yet. Wulf's book is a delight from start to finish, especially as she covers Humboldt's explorations in South America (1799-1805) and his influence on Darwin, Thoreau (he rewrote Walden after reading Humboldt), John Muir, George Perkins Marsh and Goethe.