Centre for Languages and Literature

The Joint Faculties of Humanities and Theology | Lund University

Selected Publications

Daniel Rolander's Journal

Daniel Rolander's Journal

James Dobreff, Claes Dahlman, David Morgan, Joseph Tipton

Works issued by the IK Foundation and Company
London & Whitby 2008
Daniel Rolander's Journal

This is a translation of all 699 pages of the Latin autograph manuscript of the scientific journal of Daniel Rolander (c. 1725–1793) whom Carl Linnaeus sent to Suriname in 1754 to explore the exotic flora, fauna and peoples of that Dutch plantation colony. The English translation contained in this book is the first edition if this important work to appear in print in any language. The original, preserved in Botanisk Centralbibliotek, Copenhagen, is entitled Diarium Surinamicum, quod sub itinere exotico conscripsit Daniel Rolander.

There are numerous travel journals from the 18th century. Rolander towers above almost all of them. He is a shrewd observer of people, plants and animals, and an extremely gifted narrator, who effortlessly blends scientific descriptions with idiosyncratic and often humorous misadventures. The abusive system of slavery he considers wrong and counterproductive, sprinkling descriptions of the reckless violent behaviour of the white plantation owners and their cruelty.