In Nature’s Realm
Early Naturalists Explore Vancouver Island
About the Book
Winner of the 2020 Basil Stuart Stubbs Prize
Winner of the 2019 Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing
A celebration of the richly diverse flora and fauna of Vancouver Island as explored through the records of explorers, settlers, and visitors, and with due respect to the wealth of Indigenous traditional knowledge of the island’s ecosystems.
In Nature’s Realm gathers initial reports, recorded histories, and personal accounts left by Vancouver Island’s early naturalists who studied the region’s flora and fauna.
Many, such as Archibald Menzies, accompanied English and Spanish explorations investigating the coastal geography for colonial expansion. Doctor–naturalists such as John Scouler, David Douglas, and Robert Brown worked with the Hudson’s Bay Company and collected specimens. Irish-born John Macoun, a renowned naturalist, brought his expertise to Vancouver Island, as did botanical artists Sarah Lindley (Lady Crease) and Emily Henrietta Woods.
In Nature’s Realm is a companion volume to Layland’s two previous titles: A Perfect Eden: Encounters by Early Explorers of Vancouver Island, shortlisted for a BC Book Prize in two categories; and The Land of Heart’s Delight: Early Maps and Charts of Vancouver Island, shortlisted for the Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Prize, and for the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize.