In time for his 250th birthday
The Bernese edition of his "Complete works" was published to celebrate Humboldt’s 250th birthday. On September 2, 2019, it was presented to the public at a book vernissage.
In these shorter writings, Humboldt reports in detail on his expeditions. They make contributions to numerous specialist areas – from anthropology to zoology and climate sciences. Humboldt talks of the indigenous peoples of America and their remaining monuments. But he also comments on political and social topics, such as colonialism, slavery, world trade and the emancipation of the Jews.
Humboldt also drafted scientific programs and visions for international observation stations, multimedia experience spaces and a Panama Canal. His writings, which were published over 70 years, also reveal a great deal of additional information on his life. And last but not least, they are also aesthetically appealing.
The essays were compiled over a period of several years. The edition, published by dtv in ten volumes with more than 6,800 pages, includes publications in 15 languages from 1,240 newspapers and journals which appeared in 450 places all over the world. Ninety-five percent of these texts had never been reprinted since Humboldt’s death.
No autographs please
The Bernese edition also contains Humboldt’s last article which he published shortly before his death at the age of almost 90 years old. In it he kindly asks the public to refrain from asking him to act as an expert, stop asking him for autographs and desist from "offering to care for me at home, divert and amuse me".