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Of course, we are entirely dependent on plants for our food and the air we breathe, but did you know that 5,000 mature English oak trees were used in the construction of Admiral Nelson's flagship HMS Victory, or that sweet peas were involved in the birth of the science of genetics? King Cotton was the driver of the slave trade, which was the first domino to fall in the American Revolution, and cotton was also the catalyst for the Industrial Revolution. These, and many other extraordinary facts in Fifty Plants that Changed the Course of History, highlight the dynamic ways in which plants have influenced human history. This beautifully designed and illustrated volume provides an engaging guide to the fifty key plants that have had the most impact on human history. Packed full of information, the book includes details about the habitat and characteristics of each plant, fact boxes, full colour photographs and lovely botanical illustrations. Weaving together strands of economic, political and agricultural history, each entry is a fascinating look at the most influential plants known to mankind.