Enlightened Zeal: The Hudson's Bay Company and Scientific Networks, 1670-1870

By Ted Binnema

© 2014

Enlightened Zeal examines the fascinating history of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s involvement in scientific networks during the company’s two-hundred year chartered monopoly. Working from the company’s voluminous records, Ted Binnema demonstrates the significance of science in the company’s corporate strategies.

Initially highly secretive about all of its activities, the HBC was by 1870 an exceptionally generous patron of science. Aware of the ways that a commitment to scientific research could burnish its corporate reputation, the company participated in intricate symbiotic networks that linked the HBC as a corporation with individuals and scientific organizations in England, Scotland, and the United States. The pursuit of scientific knowledge could bring wealth and influence, along with tribute, fame, and renown, but science also brought less tangible benefits: adventure, health, happiness, male companionship, self-improvement, or a sense of meaning.

The first study of scientific research in any chartered company over the entire course of its monopoly, Enlightened Zeal expands our understanding of social networks in science, establishes the vast scope of the HBC’s contribution to public knowledge, and will inspire new research into the history of science in other chartered monopolies.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 488 pages
  • Illustrations: 27
  • Dimensions: 6.4in x 1.4in x 9.5in
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  • PUBLISHED MAR 2014

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  • PUBLISHED MAR 2014

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Quick Overview

Enlightened Zeal examines the fascinating history of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s involvement in scientific networks during the company’s two-hundred year chartered monopoly.

Enlightened Zeal: The Hudson's Bay Company and Scientific Networks, 1670-1870

By Ted Binnema

© 2014

Enlightened Zeal examines the fascinating history of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s involvement in scientific networks during the company’s two-hundred year chartered monopoly. Working from the company’s voluminous records, Ted Binnema demonstrates the significance of science in the company’s corporate strategies.

Initially highly secretive about all of its activities, the HBC was by 1870 an exceptionally generous patron of science. Aware of the ways that a commitment to scientific research could burnish its corporate reputation, the company participated in intricate symbiotic networks that linked the HBC as a corporation with individuals and scientific organizations in England, Scotland, and the United States. The pursuit of scientific knowledge could bring wealth and influence, along with tribute, fame, and renown, but science also brought less tangible benefits: adventure, health, happiness, male companionship, self-improvement, or a sense of meaning.

The first study of scientific research in any chartered company over the entire course of its monopoly, Enlightened Zeal expands our understanding of social networks in science, establishes the vast scope of the HBC’s contribution to public knowledge, and will inspire new research into the history of science in other chartered monopolies.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 488 pages
  • Illustrations: 27
  • Dimensions: 6.4in x 1.4in x 9.5in
  • Reviews

    ‘Binnema has produced a superbly written, thoroughly researched, and highly relevant study of the HBC’s role in the development of scientific networks in the modern era. The book is an enormous achievement.’


    Stephen J. Hornsby
    Journal of British Studies, vol 54:01:2015

    ‘I recommend this book for its excellent biographical data and its chronicling of HBC interactions with scientific networks.’


    C. Stuart Houston
    Archives of Natural History, vol 42:01:2015

    Enlightened Zeal is a quite successful combination of corporate history and the history of science.’


    Karl Davids
    Isis vol 106:02:2015

    Enlightened Zeal will be useful foundational reading for graduate seminars and independent research on the history of chartered trading companies, network exchange, and the appropriation of knowledge in the HBC and Rupert’s Land.’


    Matthew S. Wiseman
    American Review of Canadian Studies vol 46:01:2016

    ‘This book will help change the ways specialists understand both the remarkable history of the HBC and the sustained practice of corporate-sponsored scholarship.’


    Michael F. Dove
    The Historian vol 78:03:2016

    ‘This text is essential reading for anyone interested in corporate contributions to the development of science in the British Atlantic world.’


    Naomi H. Slipp
    Nineteenth Century Studies August 2017

    “Enlightened Zeal makes a significant contribution to the growing scholarship on imperial science by shifting our attention to the less studied scenes – and new paradigms – in the vast territory of arctic and subarctic North America.  Especially attentive to the ways in which the interests and actions of individuals, institutions, and empires do not necessarily align, Binnema offers a nuanced history of one commercial monopoly’s scientific networks operating for over two hundred years across changing economic and political terrains.”


    Susan Parrish, Department of English, University of Michigan
  • Author Information

    Ted Binnema is a professor in the Department of History at the University of Northern British Columbia.
  • Table of contents

    List of Illustrations

    Acknowledgements

    Preface

    1. “Enlightened Zeal”: An Introduction

    Part I:  The Hudson’s Bay Company and Science, 1670-1821

    1. “A Profound Secret”: The Adventurers and the Fellows from the 1660s to 1768
    2. “Desirous to Encourage Science”: The Transit of Venus of 1769 and the Hudson’s Bay Company’s Collaboration with the Royal Society, 1768-1774
    3. “Amends for the Narrow Prejudices”: The Hudson’s Bay Company and Science in an Era of Competitive Expansion, 1774-1821

    Part II:  The Hudson’s Bay Company and Science, 1821-1870

    1. “Benevolent Intentions”:  The Hudson’s Bay Company, the Royal Navy, and the Search for the Northwest Passage: 1818-1855
    2. “The Liberal Spirit”: David Douglas, Edinburgh, and the Douglas Legacy, 1823-1870: 1824-1870
    3. “Disinterested Kindness”:  The Hudson’s Bay Company and North American Scientists, 1821-1859
    4. “Knowing the Liberal Disposition”: The Hudson’s Bay Company and the Smithsonian Institution, 1855-68

    Epilogue

    Conclusion

    Bibliography

    Illustrations and captions for Illustrations

    Notes

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