London, South Kensington
8 October 1999
RONALDS, Alfred. The Fly-fisher's Entomology. Illustrated by coloured representations of the natural and artificial insect, London: Longman [etc.], 1836. 8, half title, 19 hand-coloured engraved copper plates with tissue guards (spotting to a few plates, occasional finger-soiling), original brown cloth, covers patterned in blind, upper cover lettered in gilt, author's name and date of publication penned on spine, t.e.g., others uncut.
FIRST EDITION of this strictly practical treatise with a series of 19 plates "containing exquisitely faithful likenesses of 47 insects and hooks dressed in imitation of natural flies" (Sir Herbert Maxwell, Introduction to the 1913 de luxe edition, p. xi). Ronalds was the first author to give coloured illustrations of artificial trout flies. A Londoner born in 1802, he acquired his early angling experience on the Blythe, "a sweet trout stream" in Staffordshire, after marrying in 1831 Margaret Bond who resided at Draycotts, Staffordshire. After the death of his first wife in 1848, Ronalds married a second time in Australia, where he died at Ballarat on 23 April 1860, aged fifty-eight. In Westwood's words his treatise "although in some respects inaccurate, displays a rare combination of entomological and piscatorial science. The drawings of the natural fly in juxtaposition with the artificial are of great value and nicety". W. & S. p. 178; Petit 1833.
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