From Råshult to Uppsala
In 1707, a boy was born to the priest’s family in the parish of Råshult in the Swedish province of Småland. His name was Carl Linnaeus. Much later, ennobled in the year 1762, he changed his name to Carl von Linné. His father Nils was interested in horticulture and his son inherited an interest in nature. The parents’ plans for Carl to become a priest were put aside. At this time, the academic study of nature was categorised under medicine, so Carl began to study for a medical degree, first in Lund, then in Uppsala where he lived from 1728. While still a student, he was commissioned by the Royal Society of Sciences in Uppsala to undertake his first two scientific expeditions: to Lapland in 1732 and to Dalarna in 1734.
Doctor in Holland
In Dalarna, Carl met a beautiful young girl – Sara Lisa Moraea from Falun. Marriage was planned, but the father of the bride insisted that his daughter’s betrothed should first acquire his doctoral degree in medicine and be able to provide for a family. It was at the time not yet possible to become a doctor of medicine in Sweden, so Linnaeus went to Leyden in Holland. In 1735 he defended with acclaim his doctoral thesis on the subject of gluttony. He had written papers which were then successively published, establishing his reputation. The first work to be published was Systema Naturae (1735).