Books and Naturalists (Collins New Naturalist Library, Book 112)

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HarperCollins UK, Jun 24, 2010 - Nature - 512 pages
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Natural history, perhaps more than any other pursuit or study, has always relied heavily on books. Without their basic function of enabling the different kinds of animals and plants to be described in adequate detail, the subject could never have come into being and gone on to thrive as it does today.

In displaying nature's colourful diversity, books have stimulated attempts to capture the wonders of the natural world with the pencil or in paint. They have challenged their readers to seek out and record what the countryside has to offer, and they have enabled naturalists to convey to unknown fellow spirits the excitements of 'the chase' and of unexpected discoveries.

In this latest book in the highly-acclaimed New Naturalist series, David Elliston Allen explores the often complicated ways in which books on the flora and fauna of these islands have been published through the years, from the earliest days of printing through to the era of the computerised distribution atlas and the giant multinational compendium.

Difficult to free from market constraints, publication in book form would have remained an elusive aim for all too many naturalists but for the regular trickle of individual publishers who have shared their delight in the subject and leant over backwards to assist it. The important role played by these allies, the colourful backgrounds of many of the authors and the sometimes fraught relationship between the partners in a process in which the aims of business and learning do not necessarily coincide are among the many themes woven together into a fascinating account, which also breaks new ground.


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Editors Preface
CHAPTER 1Books and Naturalists
CHAPTER 2The Earliest Authors
CHAPTER 3Disguise Discarded
CHAPTER 4Intermission
CHAPTER 5The Linnaean Spring
CHAPTER 6Zoology Catches Up
CHAPTER 7The Linnaean Autumn
CHAPTER 17Edwardian Makeover
CHAPTER 18Wanderings
CHAPTER 19Direction Recovered
CHAPTER 20New Naturalists
CHAPTER 21Field Guides Aplenty
CHAPTER 22New Uncertainties
Principal Sourcesexclusive of obituaries and articles in biographical dictionaries

CHAPTER 9The Popularisation Explosion
CHAPTER 10The NineteenthCentury Publishers
CHAPTER 11Contingent Damage
CHAPTER 12Victorian High Tide
CHAPTER 13Wider And Deeper SUI
CHAPTER 14Local Floras and Faunas
CHAPTER 15Shifting Ground
CHAPTER 16A Jubilee of Monographs
The New Naturalist Library
Authors Forewordand Acknowledgements
About the Author
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About the author (2010)

David Elliston Allen has had a specialist interest in the subject of this book for many years, the combined legacy of an undergraduate degree in anthropology, a period as an analyst of marketing surveys and co-authorship of two county Floras. A past President of the Botanical Society of the British Isles and of the Society for the History of Natural History, his books include ‘The Naturalist in Britain: A Social History’, first published in 1976. Allen has spent many years administering academic research grant programmes, particularly in aspects of history.

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