By temperament he was cheerful, confident, and adventurous: a true child of the Enlightenment. Yet he had thoughtful eyes and, at moments, a certain brooding intensity: a premonition of quite a different sensibility, the dreaming inwardness of Romanticism. He did not like to give way to it.
[In 1768,] Banks heard of the round-the-world expedition in HM Bark Endeavor. … Banks immediately proposed himself as its official botanist. He would finance his own eight-man natural history ‘suite,’ including two artists, a scientific secretary, Herman Sporing, two black servants from his Yorkshire estate, his friend Dr Solander and— characteristically— a pair of greyhounds.