Cabinet 17 - Birds
W. H. Lizars wanted the Naturalist Library to be a 'popular work' with 'capital Showy Plates', and so he decided to launch the series with a 'beautiful and interesting' volume on humming-birds. It was a major success, with the first issue of 3000 copies selling out to eager buyers. The second part, of which this is a copy, was just as successful. An engraving of the Welsh naturalist Thomas Pennant (1726-1798) adorns this volume. At the age of twelve Pennant was given a copy of Francis Willughby's Ornithology (the English edition of 1678), and thus began his love-affair with the natural sciences. In 1757, through Linnaeus's recommendation, Pennant became a member of the Royal Swedish Society of Sciences.
Sir William Jardine, 'The Natural History of Humming-birds.' Vol. II. The Naturalist's Library. Edinburgh: W. H. Lizars, and Stirling and Kenney, [and others], 1833. DeB Sb 1833 N O2
'The Cape of Good Hope is now acknowledged to be one of the greatest avenues as yet opened for the researches of the naturalist.' So begins the prospectus for Dr Andrew Smith's Illustrations of the Zoology of South Africa, issued in parts from 1838 to 1849, and in four volumes in 1849. This classic work is arranged in five divisions, including Linnaeus's Mammalia class. On display is the South African lesser bushbaby - Galago moholi - an animal about the size of a chipmunk and which is found in bush regions of Central Southern Africa.
Andrew Smith, Illustrations of the Zoology of South Africa. Vol. 1. London: Smith, Elder, and Co., 1849. Special QL 337 S65 SM25
The thirty-sixth volume of The Naturalist's Library features sun-birds, beautifully painted by James Stewart, and a memoir by Jardine on Francis Willughby (1635–1672), the naturalist, and friend of John Ray and Robert Boyle. Other commissioned artists for the series included Edward Lear (of Limerick-nonsense verse fame) and William Swainson, a naturalist and artist who eventually emigrated to New Zealand.