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Finders, Keepers: Eight Collectors

Finders, Keepers: Eight Collectors

by Stephen Jay Gould (Editor), Rosamond W. Purcell

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Most of us collect things, but seldom have entire collections been preserved.


Most of us collect things, but seldom have entire collections been preserved.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Purcell's color photographs of historic collections of taxidermy, fossils and other exotic artifacts are accompanied by an essay by Gould. (Jan.)
William Beatty
For their second striking combination of Purcell's beautiful photographs and Gould's provocative text (the first was "Illuminations" ), the pair consider eight collectors, whom they discuss on the bases of what they collected and what kind of people they were. Among the eight are both the great--naturalist Louis Agassiz and czar Peter the Great--and the obscure--Dutch local biologist Willem van Heurn and amateur paleontologist Mary Anning. The items they collected run from outre preparations of human fetuses (don't gaze at these unless you have a strong stomach) to such more usual but outstandingly exemplified specimens as fossilized ammonites, a mind-boggling battalion of European moles' skins, a collection of braincasts (most housed in cigar boxes), and birds of paradise carcasses and details. The assembling of the materials in Peter the Great's Wunderkammern, many of them the anatomical preparations done by Frederick Ruysch, opens the book and sets the stage for the other collectors, each with his or her personal quirks and scientific (or nonscientific) approaches and methods. A worthy companion to its award-winning predecessor.

Product Details

Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st Edition
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 11.40(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002) was the Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology and Professor of Geology at Harvard University. He published over twenty books, received the National Book and National Book Critics Circle Awards, and a MacArthur Fellowship.

Rosamond Purcell is the author of Bookworm and Owls Head. She lives in Medford, Massachusetts.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
September 10, 1941
Date of Death:
May 20, 2002
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
Place of Death:
Boston, Massachusetts
B.S., Antioch College, 1963; Ph.D., Columbia University, 1967

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