The Book of Naturalists: An Anthology of the Best Natural History

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"Good anthologies of natural history are rare. This one is unique, in my experience, for the uniform excellence of the chosen pieces. There are no undisciplined reveries, and nature is reported directly, rather than as a setting for personal introspection. This excellence is no accident, for Beebe himself was a keen observer and a master of the finest expeditionary prose." --Henry S. Horn, Princeton UniversityAnyone curious about animals, nature, or the history of biology will find much of interest in this ample and varied collection. Reflecting
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Overview

"Good anthologies of natural history are rare. This one is unique, in my experience, for the uniform excellence of the chosen pieces. There are no undisciplined reveries, and nature is reported directly, rather than as a setting for personal introspection. This excellence is no accident, for Beebe himself was a keen observer and a master of the finest expeditionary prose." --Henry S. Horn, Princeton UniversityAnyone curious about animals, nature, or the history of biology will find much of interest in this ample and varied collection. Reflecting his infectious enthusiasm for "the best natural history," Beebe's personal assortment of favorites includes excerpts from massive sources, such as Audubon and Darwin, and intriguing pieces from lesser known authors most of us would not normally encounter. Arranged in chronological order, the small masterpieces here range from Aristotle to Rachel Carson. Each of them is introduced by an incisive and sometimes humorous description of its author.

This is a rich collection of the natural history literature from Aristotle to Rachel Carson.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is an anthology with a fine sense of history.... there is a timelessness to many of its selections."—Washington Post Book World
Washington Post Book World
This is an anthology with a fine sense of history.... there is a timelessness to many of its selections.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691084664
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/1988
  • Series: Princeton Paperbacks Series
  • Edition description: REISSUE
  • Pages: 520
  • Product dimensions: 5.84 (w) x 8.86 (h) x 1.33 (d)

Table of Contents

Part I
Introduction 3
Cave Paintings from the Stone Age 11
Fishing-Frogs, Cuckoos, and Other Things 12
Disagreements between Elephants and Dragons; The Birth of Pearls 19
The Whale 24
The Migration of Birds 26
The Rhinoceros and the Mouse 30
"Little Animals" 35
Why Ants Have Wings 39
From Bats and Manatees to Cats and Camels 45
Concerning Birds, Bats, and a Tortoise 47
The Rattle Snake 54
Jungle River 59
The Sloth 62
The Wild Turkey 68
The Pond 73
Part II
Introduction 87
From Bahia and the Galapagos to the Origin of Species 94
Mimicry, and Other Protective Resemblances among Animals 106
The Aims of an Expedition 122
On a Piece of Chalk 131
Driver Ants 151
Patagonian Memories 160
The Water Ouzel 187
The Swarm 197
Tribulations of a Naturalist and The Courtship of the Scorpion 213
Foreword to A Book-Lover's Holidays in the Open, and On an East African Ranch 234
About Tadpoles 243
The Termitodoxa, or Biology and Society 250
Penguins 263
Old Friends in New Places 283
Chagola 291
Foxes, Owls, and Polar Bears 308
Elephant Friends and Foes 314
The Migration of Elephants 334
Mammoths in the Flesh 335
The Sea Otter 341
The Tomb of the Pearl 345
Two Lives 355
The Emergence of the Half-Men 363
Looking Forward 375
The Uniqueness of Man 395
The Big Almendro 417
The Ties that Bind 427
The Seeds of Life and The Sleep of the Seed 441
Playboys of the Western World 455
In Defense of Octopuses 465
Odyssey of the Eel 478
Selected Biographical Material 497
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