National Geographic : 1950 Apr
The National Geographic Magazine Leafy Avenues Converge on the Pagoda In 1761-2 architect Sir William Chambers built the Chi nese-style Pagoda for Princess Augusta. Its ten stories, stretching 163 feet, remain today without a fracture. Tree lined lanes make the octagonal building the focus of several charming vistas. Generations of work were required to pro duce this landscape effect (page 482). 500 w'lE Curator John Smith kept the plant col lections alive through Kew's "winter of discontent" following George III's and Joseph Banks's deaths in 1820 until the gardens could be taken over by the na tion in 1841.* Such selfless scientists remain as type specimens in Britain's record. Darwin's Confidant Heroic in all ways was the son who succeeded his father as Director of Kew in 1865: Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker. Here was truly a man of many parts, who began his scientific career at the age of 22 by sailing to the Antarctic with Sir James Clark Ross on the Erebus and Terror expedition. Christmas of 1842, while the two ships lay locked in the ice, Hooker sculpted a frozen Venus from an ice mound to help cheer his companions. By 1848 he was a self-made authority on the high mountain "botanic islands" of Sikkim and eastern Nepal.t The maps and sketches he made of the Himalayan regions he surveyed a century ago were not surpassed for many years. Charles Darwin, his lifelong friend, wrote Hooker in 1862: "For long years I have looked up to you as the man whose opinion I have valued more on any scientific subject than anyone else in the world." Hooker's encyclopedic knowledge of plant geography was the trellis against which Darwin shaped his theory of the origin of species. In 1877, at the invitation of the United States Geological and Geographi cal Survey of the Territories, Hooker studied and reported on the botany of the mountain regions of Colorado and Utah. Portmanteau Greenhouses One of the earlier Britons to receive the Order of Merit, he lived on to 94 years. At his own wish he was interred at Kew, not far from the Sikkim rhodo dendrons which he had introduced to * See "Time and Tide on the Thames," by Frederick Simpich, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAG AZINE, February, 1939. t See, in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGA ZINE: "Peerless Nepal-A Naturalist's Para dise," by S. Dillon Ripley, January, 1950; "Nepal, the Sequestered Kingdom," by Penel ope Chetwode, March, 1935; "Aerial Conquest of Everest." by L. V . S. Blacker, August, 1933; and "Nepal: A Little-known Kingdom," by John Claude White, October, 1920.