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A Rum Affair: a True Story of Botanical Fraud

by Sabbagh, Karl

  • ISBN: 9780374252823
  • ISBN10: 0374252823

A Rum Affair: a True Story of Botanical Fraud

by Sabbagh, Karl

  • List Price: $24.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
  • Publish date: 02/01/2000
  • ISBN: 9780374252823
  • ISBN10: 0374252823
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Description: The mysterious Isle of Rum is one of the Inner Hebrides situated off the west coast of Scotland. Rugged and mountainous, its brooding beauty and natural diversity attracted an eminent British botanist, John Heslop Harrison of Newcastle University, who claimed to have discovered several species of rare plants there that had never been observed within five hundred miles of the island. These discoveries helped him make his mark as one of Britain's outstanding scientists. But in A Rum Affair, Karl Sabbagh begins to question those discoveries, after stumbling onto a veiled reference in an obituary of amateur botanist John Raven, Heslop Harrison's accuser, and he soon finds himself pursuing a fifty-year-old open secret: Were the plants indigenous? If not, how did they get there? And what was Heslop Harrison's motive? Sabbagh also explores the oddly congenial relationship between accuser and accused, detailing Raven's unusual attempts to keep his discoveries secret. Like a skillful whodunit, A Rum Affair savors each of its surprising revelations of hubris and chicanery as its tale unfolds among the exotic flora and fauna of Rum.
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