The Aurelian, or Natural History of English Insects; namely Moths and Butterflies. Together with the Plants on which they feed;
HARRIS Moses (1778.)
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a faithful account of their respective changes; their usual haunts when in winged state; and their standard Names, as given and established by the worthy and ingenious Society of Aurelians.
Second edition, second issue (variant). Large paper copy. Engraved frontispiece supplied here from another copy (as often). 44 hand coloured plates, with the diagrammatic plate uncoloured, some pates watermarked 1791. Folio. Quarter calf over marbled boards, rebacked, gilt tooling, red morocco label to spine. xv, 90pp. London,
"One of the most outstanding authors of entomological literature during the eighteenth century" (Lisney). Harris' distinguished work is almost entirely drawn from specimens collected on his field trips. The resultant plates are some of the finest to have been produced. First published in 1766, the work went through many editions with a complicated collation due to so many copies being made up.
A faint pencil inscription, by a bookseller, on the front free endpaper identifies this copy as "An original copy which belonged to Dr. Latham" under the price £3/8/6 in the same hand. This claim is supported by the engraved bookplate showing the Latham family arms. Also there are frequent discreet pen and for the most part pencil notations throughout the text, making taxonomic notes.
Dr. John Latham is described as the grandfather of Australian ornithology. He "was essentially a compiler and his ornithology was not of a high standard even for his day; however, he made the first contribution of any importance to Australian ornithology, and it was not surpassed until John Gould embarked on his comprehensive and systematic study several decades later" (ADNB).
Lisney 232; Nissen ZBI 1835.
Stock Code: 212905