'I have spent too long on plants and animals. Now it is time for human beings.' This haunting novel is based on the life of Anders Sparrman, the eighteenth-century naturalist and disciple of the pioneering classifier Carl Linnaeus. Despite his humble beginnings, Sparrman joined Captain Cook on his second voyage to Antarctica and Tahiti and later made an unprecedented journey to South Africa. What he saw on these explorations made him a dedicated scientist and abolitionist, but it was not until he returned home to Sweden that a love affair dispelled the loneliness that had haunted him. In this magical, poetic novel, set between the end of the Enlightenment and the dawn of Romanticism, Wï¿½stberg's narrative combines intellectual precision with real emotional power.