Hi Gang, I've been waiting to read "Sex, Botany, & Empire," a book by Patricia Fara (I have the 2004 edition, Columbia Univ. Press). The book purports to be "The story of Carl Linnaeus and Joseph Banks." But it also is a story about the three Ss (sex, science, the state) and how they came to be intertwined in 18th Century British society. I finally ordered a used copy (about $10) from amazon.com, and the first few pages are captivating. It opens with a wonderful quote about Joseph Banks that says in part, "the females of most countries that he has visited, have undergone every critical inspection by him." This mild sentence was, apparently at that time, a shocking statement. Then, the book launches into Banks' amazing exploits in Tahiti with women associated with Queen Oberea (Purea). I'm still in chapter 2, but the book hints at wonderful chapters to come concerning 18th and 19th Century botanists, as well as the florid Latin terms used to describe plant parts--words that were considered erotic (even pornographic) in some circles. Descriptive terms to clarify the arrangement, shape, color, and other properties of male and female reproductive organs (of plants) were shocking for some people. Some virtuous types proposed that women should be sheltered from the study of botany because such lurid words were employed. A verse by Erasmus Darwin provides some of the insight to the period. He wrote about the flower of Collinsonia, which has a single pistil and two stamens. His description is fascinating and may well have been scandalous; he wrote about a sweet female who was concubine to two brothers. Two brother swains, of COLLIN's gentle name The same their features, and their forms the same, With rival love for fair COLLINIA sigh, Knit the dark brow, and roll the unsteady eye, With sweet concern the pitying beauty mourns, And sooths with smiles the jealous pair by turns Throughout this period (1770-1825) Joseph Banks was living proof that that botany was pornographic and corrupting, or vice versa, or at least quite erotic. Apparently he could not keep his trousers up. Cordially, Joe Conroe TX Frost last night.