John Hill was a multifaceted and intriguing figure who is believed to have been born in Peterborough, England in 1716. He first studied as an apothecary and traveled across England in search of herbs for his shop. He was a prolific writer, producing not only scientific works but also plays and novels and even worked as an actor for a time. His works were often controversial, involving him in disputes with other well-known figures of his time. He had a medical degree from Edinburgh and created and sold a variety of herbal medicines, but was accused of being a quack.
In additional to “Eden” he also published an extensive botanical study entitled The Vegetable System for which he was awarded the Order of Vasa by the King of Sweden.