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Title: The life and work of Thomas Pennant
Author: Evans, R. P.
Awarding Body: University College of Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1994
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By the time of his death, Thomas Pennant (1726-98) of Downing in Flintshire, had established an international reputation as a distinguished British zoologist. Yet today his contribution to the study of natural history has been almost forgotten, and he is now better remembered as the author of a series of travel books describing tours through the British Isles. This thesis has striven to evaluate Pennant's contribution to both the scientific and topographical fields of enquiry by examining his research methods, the manner in which he collected and edited his material, his correspondence with fellow academics, and the initial reception and subsequent treatment of his publications by contemporary and later generations. After an account of Pennant's domestic life in chapter one, chapter two has assessed his work as a naturalist and has examined his varied zoological publications, some of which became standard reference catalogues listing British, North American and Indian fauna. Chapter three has concentrated upon his scientific correspondence with over thirty experienced naturalists, including William Borlase, Joseph Banks, Benjamin Stillingfleet and Gilbert White. Through these means it has been possible to resurrect Pennant's unique contribution to the field of scientific learning in the late eighteenth century. Chapter four has illustrated how Pennant's love of travel developed as a direct consequence of his earlier interest in natural history, and the need to search for scientific specimens. Chapter five has chronicled the publication of a series of topographical works which described tours through the remote regions of Britain, illustrating how Pennant was among the first to write detailed accounts of journeys through the Scottish Highlands and the mountains of North Wales.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available