First published in 1840 as a volume in the Cabinet Cyclopaedia - a series published between 1830 and 1844, intended for the self-educating middle class - this work was written by the naturalist and artist William Swainson (1789-1855). The first part is a treatise on taxidermy, showcasing methods of Victorian science that may appear gruesome to modern readers. It discusses the best ways to collect, preserve and present animals for scientific study. Swainson gives detailed advice, making allowances for naturalists working in different locations and searching for a range of species. The directions for skinning and mounting animals are not for the faint-hearted, but they offer a fascinating insight into the practices of the time. The work's second part is a zoological bibliography, with short biographies of notable authors. Zoological painters and engravers, such as Thomas Bewick (1753-1828), are also featured.
Table of Contents
Part I. A Treatise on Taxidermy: 1. On collecting zoological subjects; 2. On preserving zoological subjects; 3. On the formation and arrangement of collections; Part II. The Bibliography of Zoology; Appendix; Index.