Indian Forester, Scottish Laird: The Botanical Lives of Hugh Cleghorn of Stravithie (Volume 1) / The Cleghorn Collection: South Indian Botanical Drawings 1845 to 1860 (Volume 2)
By Henry J. Noltie
Hugh Francis Clarke Cleghorn (1820–1895) was one of the many remarkable Scottish surgeons who worked for the East India Company, but who used an official posting as a base for research upon India’s rich flora, and recording it visually in drawings made by Indian artists. His particular interest was in useful plants, which led to the major work in the field of forest conservancy for which he is best remembered.
Indian Forester, Scottish Laird provides the definitive biography of Cleghorn, exploring his life and work and placing it in the latter days of the Scottish Enlightenment, both in the field of applied and useful knowledge, and the documentation of natural resources in both words and pictures.
The Cleghorn Collection reproduces more than 200 of the drawings from the Cleghorn Collection in colour, for the first time. These include drawings from nature, copies based on European prints, and Nature Prints made from herbarium specimens. They are the work of several South Indian artists and of pupils of the pioneering Madras School of Art.
"...a magnificent double volume: an amazing climax to the extraordinary achievement of Henry Noltie in the field of Indian botanical drawings; it has been a revelatory and properly respectful tribute to those artists, many unknown, some now known. All praise to Noltie’s deep and dedicated scholarship".
‘Henry Noltie’s books on the life and times of Hugh Cleghorn constitute an important contribution to the botanical and forestry history of Scotland and India, as well as revealing the wide cultural and scientific interests of this remarkable man. The South Indian Botanical Drawings take their place in the wonderful tradition of botanical illustrations from Asia which have immense botanical and aesthetic interest.’ Professor John M. MacKenzie, FRSE