Charles Boewe’s study of Constantine Samuel Rafinesque (1783-1840) began more than 50 years ago. It was materially advanced by Boewe’s ability to explore archival resources in both Philadelphia and Lexington during his own extended residence in those cities where Rafinesque himself lived. Later, when based in South Asia, Boewe’s travels to and from the United States enabled him to seek out Rafinesque documents in European repositories. The result of these efforts was the discovery of hundreds of pages of fresh documentation in eight countries, written in four languages. All of this material, along with letters from the hitherto unknown Rafinesque family archives in Paris, is the foundation of this narration of the life of an early 19th-century naturalist and philologist. Included in the book is a CD, “The Correspondence of C. S. Rafinesque.”
Charles Boewe is an independent scholar who has written several books on Rafinesque, including A C. S. Rafinesque Anthology (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland Press, 2003), and Profiles of Rafinesque (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2003).