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A History of British Birds. Vol. I: Land Birds [and] Vol. II: Water Birds

by Bewick, Thomas

  • Hardback £320.00
  • Used Book Availability : In stock
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  • Catalogue No : 47495
  • Published : 1816
  • Cover : Hardback
  • Pages : xxxviii, (43)-329, [1]; xxii, (19)-361, [1]


Illustrated with wood engravings by Thomas Bewick. Vol. I: Land Birds - 6th edition; Vol. II: Water Birds - 4th edition. Pagination as in Roscoe.

Roscoe, 22 & 23.

Thomas Bewick (1753-1828) was a passionate naturalist, ‘a son of nature’, as Audubon called him, a man immersed in the English countryside. He is considered as England’s most masterly engraver, and his books, ‘History of British Birds’ (2 vols first published 1797, 1804) are illustrated with Bewick's wood engravings. Bewick created these books with the purpose of instructing the youth, remarking on his illustrations, ‘… I illustrated them by figures delineated with all the fidelity and animation I was able to impart to mere woodcuts without colour; and as instruction is of little avail without constant cheerfulness and occasional amusement, I interspersed the more serious studies with Tale-pieces of gaiety and humour.’ (Roscoe, p. xv).


2 vols, 8vo in 4s, cont. half leather, marbled boards (rubbed/scuffed), rebacked; hinges neatly reinforced. Small ownership stamps and bookbinder's ticket (John Cain, Bookbinder, Douglas) to pastedowns. Some foxing througout. Good set.

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