A General History of Birds, 11 volumes, complete with index, bound in 5 thick volumes
By Latham, John
Pp. xxxii, 375, (1); (2), 340; (4), 416; (4), 362, (1); (2), 350, (1); (4), 416; (2), 362, (1); (2), 376, (1); (2), 391, (1); (2), 433, (1); 456; index: (2), 17, (134); with 193 hand-colored copperplate engravings. Early one-half calf leather, spine lettered in gilt and with gilt panel lines and other gilt decorations, over original marbled boards with matching marbled endpapers, most volumes with tissue guards present, thick 4to (10 3/4 x 8 1/2 inches). Zimmer (pp. 376-377) states: ‘A new edition of the author’s “General Synopsis of Birds,” 1781-85 (q.v.), rewritten and enlarged to include the species treated in the two supplements to that work as well as forms discovered since their publication.’ This major work attempted to cover all bird species from every part of the known world with special emphasis on Australia and the South Seas. Latham is often known as the "grandfather of Australian ornithology" due to his descriptions of birds collected in Phillip's Voyage to Botany Bay published in 1789. Latham was the first to describe a number of important Australian species such as the lyre-bird, the white cockatoo and the emu. As a founding member of the Linnean Society, Latham was very well connected in ornithological circles in England. This gave him access to many recently discovered bird specimens that reached London from the South Seas, Australia and elsewhere. For a complete collation, see Zimmer 376-377; see also Anker 277-278, Wood 427, Nissen 532 and Fine Bird Books (1990) 114. Attractive bookplate of Thomas Perry on the front endpaper.
|Publisher||Printed by Jacob and Johnson for the author|
|Date Published Estimated||No|
|Number of Volumes||5|
|Condition Description||Light rubbing to marbled boards, occasional foxing to some tissue guards only and to a few text pages (generally quite minor), a few plates show faint offsetting to text; overall a very attractive bright and clean copy in near fine condition.|