Lisa Stina is Linnaeus's oldest daughter. Daniel Solander is the botanic professor’s favorite student and the tutor to his son. But when Lisa Stina is sixteen Daniel, who is ten years older, pack up his things and is sent from Uppsala in Sweden to London, to spread Linnaeus's sexual system in the world.
But was this the only reason for him leaving?
Was it perhaps also because of the warm looks, red cheeks and pounding hearts?
They never saw each other again and did not write a single letter directly to one another. Nevertheless there is a lot suggesting that they longed for each other until the day they died, just a few weeks apart in 1782.
Lisa Stina stayed, except for a few years spent in an unhappy marriage, at her parents’ in Uppsala. As a woman, she would not study but was botanically knowledgeable and wrote a scholarly article. Daniel was a leading botanist in Great Britain and went on Cook's circumnavigation of 1768-1771, when he explored the then unknown South Pacific, New Zealand and Australia. He came back as a world-renowned scientist, perhaps the foremost of Linnaeus' disciples.
Based on their parallel fates, Christina Wahldén has written a novel about longing and a love that never got to blossom and about the conventions of masculinity and femininity at the time.