Hans Sloane was a young doctor from Northern Ireland who made his way in London and eventually become physician to the king and much of London society. In his youth he made a defining visit to Jamaica, where he began collecting 'curiosities' of all kinds. He eventually became the centre of a worldwide network which allowed him to assemble the collections which became the core of the British Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the British Library. This is the first major biography of Sloane in 60 years. It explores not just the impact of an extraordinary man, but allows us a window onto the moment when the meaning of collections and collecting changed.