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The Insects of Great Britain / Les Insectes de la Grande Bretagne. Vol. I

by Lewin, William

  • Hardback £2,600.00
  • Used Book Availability : In stock
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  • Catalogue No : 38061
  • Published : 1795
  • Cover : Hardback
  • Pages : 97, [3]
  • Publisher : For J. Johnson
  • Published In : London
  • Illustrations : 46 engraved hand-coloured plates

Description:

Parallel text English/French. First issue. Systematically arranged, accurately engraved, and painted from nature, with the natural history of each species, from an application to the subject, and observations made in different counties of the Kingdom; as well as from breeding numbers from the egg, or caterpillar, during the last thirty years.

The present book was intended to be the first volume of a comprehensive work on British Insects, however Lewin died in 1795 after only this first volume on butterflies had appeared. The second issue, of the same year, had a new title- page "The Papilios of Great Britain", and the type in the text of the last gathering was reset with the words "The End" in place of "End of the First Volume", otherwise the issues are identical. The figures engraved from the subjects themselves, by the author.

William Lewin (fl. 1791-c.1795) 'devoted much of his time to the study of natural history and published two works, on the birds and insects of Great Britain … which were engraved and coloured by himself.' (Lisney, p. 286). His text on the title-page suggests that he reared many species from their early stages over a period of thirty years. 'The Insects of Great Britain' is the first illustrated book solely devoted to British, or more precisely, English butterflies. Lewin's illustrations are noted for their accuracy compared to entomological works from earlier in the century.

[Lisney, 411; Peter Marren, 'Rainbow Dust', p 90; Dunbar, 'British Butterflies', p 67]

Condition

4to, cont. full leather, rebacked, raised bands, gt rule to spine compartments, marbled endpapers. Oxidation of the white pigment as it is often found on several of the plates of white butterflies. A very good copy.

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