Saturday, January 22, 2011

My Grandmother's Bestiary

A few pages from one of the first books I ever owned, a Victorian volume on natural history given to me by my grandmother when I was a small youngling.  According to its unknown author:
The following pages were commenced solely in the hope of affording such a simple, and, at the same time, such a systematical introduction to the Linnean System of Zoology, as might induce young persons to an earnest pursuit of the study of Natural History . . .  it has, throughout, been his constant endeavour to divert the attention from secondary causes, and to turn it to the Almighty and only Source of Being, Power, and Truth.

As far as I was concerned, the first part worked; the second, not so much. The illustrations strive towards accuracy, but are infused with a certain degree of anthropomorphism.  I especially like the snakes, revelling in their sneaky, snakey nature.


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