Even those bird watchers who might not be quite up-to-speed in their history of natural history likely know Alexander Wilson – or at least his last name. After all, a warbler, a storm-petrel, a snipe, a phalarope, and a plover all carry it in his honor. However Wilson was far more than just a name; he was a accomplished artist and poet as well as a naturalist of remarkable skill – truly a man of many talents as befitted the ideals of the Enlightenment.
Thus it is appropriate that he be remembered in the multi-faceted style in which his life is commemorated in Alexander Wilson; Enlightened Naturalist. Edited by Edward H. Burtt, Jr. with contributions by Gerard Caruthers, William E. Davis, Jr., Frank Gill, Irving N. Rothman, Rick Wright, and John Kricher, this intriguing book presents Wilson’s life and work squarely situated in his time so that his many talents – talents that today might be thought extraordinarily unusual to find in a single person – can be seen to have created the remarkable individual that he was.