A Natural History, General and Particular;George Louis Le Clerc, Count of Buffon (translated by William Smellie); Henry Augustus Chambers
containing the History and Theory of the Earth, a General History of Man, the Brute Creation, Vegetables, Minerals etc etc. A New Edition corrected and enlarged to which is added A History of Birds, Fishes, Reptiles, and Insects embracing the recent discoveries of eminent naturalists, together with an account of the most curious foreign plants, by Henry Augustus Chambers, LLD.
London: Printed for Thomas Kelly and Co.. 1860.
2 volumes. 278x220mm. Vol. 1: [ii], pp viii index, pp. 682. Vol. 2: pp.viii index, pp462. Contemporary half-calf with raised bands, gilt lettering and hand tooling over marbled boards. Bookbinder's label (Hayward Bookbinder, 6 Burgate Lane, Canterbury). This edition contains the somewhat incongruous half title: "History of the earth and animated nature, exhibiting the delineations of the most distinguished wild animals in the various menageries of this country" with a splendid coloured engraving of a tiger. Black leather spine labels. Very good quality hand-coloured plates. Some wearing to the boards.
“Truly, Buffon was the father of all thought in natural history in the second half of the 18th century”. Of this book it has been said: “written in a brilliant style, this work was read ... by every educated person in Europe”.
This is a 1860 reprint of the 1856 edition by published by Thomas Kelly. These splendid volumes contain articles considering the various proofs of the Theory of the Earth; a chapter on the Analogies between Animals and Vegetables; the Varieties of Human Species; a Dissertation on the Nature of Animals and essays on a huge range of animals, birds, fish and insects (from the hippopotamus to the spider) liberally illustrated with charming and beautifully preserved hand-coloured engravings.