The first biography to open up areas of work related to the life and times of Alexander von Humboldt that were previously inaccessible to those without knowledge of Spanish, German, and French. Contains original research from the latest scholarship published by the Humboldt Research Centre, as well as many illustrations and portraits. Inspired by the life and times of Alexander von Humboldt 1769-1859, this biography, based on the most recent research and scholarship, follows Humboldt from his childhood and early education in Prussia, his training as a mining engineer, his extensive travels in S.America, Russia and Siberia, to his outstanding contributions to our knowledge of the world we live in. Rightly considered the founding father of the Natural Sciences he was, in his day, as well-known as Napoleon. He and his companion, the botanist Aime Bonpland, sent back from their sojourn in the Americas (1799-1804) 6,000 new species of plants and herbs, rocks, minerals and animals. En route, the scientists collected a mass of detailed information, 'cartographical, geological, astronomical, botanical, anthropological and linguistic,' that took a lifetime's labour of love to prepare for publication. When based in Paris (1804-1827), von Humboldt self-financed a series of publications leading to his major work and masterpiece, KOSMOS (COSMOS), that ran to five volumes. To complete his task, he began a vast correspondence with figures such as Thomas Jefferson, Washington Irvine, Sir Joseph Banks, Michael Faraday, Lavoisier, and Gauss, and associated with kings, princes, courtiers, and the intelligentsia of his day: Brunel, Napoleon, the Kings of Prussia, Tsar Nicholas I of Russia, Goethe and Schiller and countless others.