The Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands
The Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands
The Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands
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The Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands
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The Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands

MARK CATESBY, 1771

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The Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands
Mark Catesby, 1771
CATESBY, Mark. The Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands: containing the figures of Birds, Beasts, Fishes, Serpents, Insects, and Plants. London: Printed for Benjamin White, 1771.

"A beautiful and vastly important work by the founder of American ornithology, this book embodies the most impressive record made during the colonial period of the natural history of an American colony, and is the most significant work of American natural history before Audubon." —Struggle for North America

A fine, uncut copy of the third edition. An early issue, printed on laid paper. Hunt describes the work as "The most famous colour-plate book of American plant and animal life ... A fundamental and original work for the study of American species." Trained as a botanist in London, Catesby travelled to Virginia in 1712, returning in 1719 with an extensive collection of plants. This collection attracted the attention of Sir Hans Sloane, who helped fund Catesby's second trip to Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and the Bahamas from 1722 to 1729. Back in London, he prepared his natural history of the region, drawing a map from his own knowledge and engraving the majority of the plates to reduce the costs of his venture. The first edition was issued by Catesby in parts, completed in 1747, and was the earliest colored book on American birds. Its popularity was such that a second edition was required within five years of his death, undertaken by George Edwards and printed for C. Marsh, T. Wilcox and B. Stichall in 1754. This third edition follows Edwards revisions of the second. Dunthorne 72; Hunt 486 (first edition); Struggle for North America 16 (second edition); Sabin 11509.

Two volumes, folio (543 x 360mm). Hand-colored engraved folding map and 220 hand-colored etched plates. Modern half diced calf, deckle edges preserved.

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