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Bosc, Louis Augustin Guillaume

BOSC, LOUIS AUGUSTIN GUILLAUME (1759-1828), French naturalist, was born at Paris on the 29th of January 1759. He was educated at the college of Dijon, where he showed a taste for botany, and he followed up his studies in Paris at the Jardin des Plantes, where he made the acquaintance of Mme M.J.P. Roland. At the age of eighteen he obtained a government appointment, and he rose to be one of the chief officials in the postal department. Under the ministry of J.M. Roland in 1792 he also held the post of superintendent of prisons, but the violent outbreaks of 1793 drove him from office, and compelled him to take refuge in flight. For some months he lay concealed at Sainte-Radégonde, in the forest of Montmorency, barely subsisting on roots and vegetables. He was enabled to return to Paris on the fall of Robespierre, and under the title Appel à l'impartiale postérité par la citoyenne Roland published a manuscript Mme Roland had entrusted to him before her execution. Soon afterwards he set out for America, resolving to explore the natural riches of that country. The immense materials he gathered were never published in a complete form, but much went to enrich the works of B.G.E. de Lacépède, P.A. Latreille and others. After his return, on the establishment of the Directory, he was reinstated in his old office. Of this he was again deprived by the coup d'état of 1799, and for a time he was in great destitution; but by his copious contributions to scientific literature he contrived to support himself and to lay the foundations of a solid reputation. He was engaged on the new Dictionnaire d'histoire naturelle, and on the Encyclopédie méthodique, he edited the Dictionnaire raisonné et universel d'agriculture, and was one of the editors of the Annales de l'agriculture française. He was made inspector of the gardens at Versailles, and of the public nurseries belonging to the ministry of the interior. The last years of his life were devoted to an elaborate work on the vine, for which he had amassed an immense quantity of materials, but his death at Paris on the 10th of July 1828 prevented its completion.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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