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Tamson Pietsch is a lecturer in Imperial and Colonial History at Brunel University, London. Her own academic pathway from Australia to Oxford mirrors that of her predecessors who feature in this study of the ‘Empire of Scholars’. We need to know more, she argues, about who made knowledge in the Empire and the social and intellectual context which informed that knowledge.
With the exception of pioneering work by Clarence Glacken , Keith Thomas and Alfred Crosby , very little has yet been written about early modern environmental thought . This has been partly determined by questions of definition .