John Muir was born in 1838 near Edinburgh in Scotland, and travelled in 1849 with his family to settle on a farm in south-eastern Wisconsin, USA. In 1861 Muir’s intellectual horizons broadened when he attended the state university at Madison to study botany and geology. It was the beginning of a trail taken in the spirit of what the scholar of mythology, Joseph Campbell, would later dub “the hero’s journey”.

This journey started when Muir entered the Yosemite Valley for the first time in 1868. Several years later his very first book was published, about the Yosemite Valley’s glacial origins.

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