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DONOVAN, Edward.

An epitome of the natural history of the insects of China.

comprising figures and descriptions of Upwards of One Hundred New, Singular, and Beautiful Species; Together with Some that are of Importance in Medicine, Domestic Economy, &c. the Figures are Accurately Drawn, Engraved, and Coloured, from Specimens o

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London, Printed for the author, by T. Bensley, 1798

Little is known of the early life of Edward Donovan (1768–1837). His interest in natural history started with the collecting of shells and preservation of insects, probably before 1788. He was a prolific author and skilled artist who etched and engraved the plates for all his works. He became a fellow of the Linnaean Society.

Donovan's main interest was entomology and his published works included sixteen volumes of British Insects (1792–1813) and the three 'magnificently illustrated' (Dunbar) volumes on The Insects of China, India and New Holland, the last being dedicated to Sir Joseph Banks, and acknowledging use of his collections and library. Donovan's approach was to show species that had not been illustrated before, and many previously undescribed. The illustrations of tropical butterflies, moths, and other insects set against backgrounds of plants and flowers represent a significant advance in compositional style which seem likely to have influenced others in the

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First edition. 4to, [iv], [92], [2], (index) pp., 50 hand-coloured engraved plates all with slight brown toning, contemporary tree calf, red morocco label, neat repairs to joints, a very good example.


Dunbar (British Butterflies), page 48; Nissen ZBI 1143.

Stock ID:104182

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