Freeman and Wertheimer note that this is the first of a five-volume set of little natural histories for young people; the others being Birds, Reptiles, Fishes and Mollusca.
Freeman and Wertheimer also note that although all five are uniform in titles and format, we have yet to see even two which are uniformly cased.
The woodcuts were designed by Gosse and J. W. Whymper.
Freeman and Wertheimer describe three variants of the first 1848 edition and one separate 1862 edition.
My collection holds one of the first variant editions of this volume. The case is a dark purply-brown morocco, with blind ornamental frames on both boards.
A blind stamp on the front endpaper informs us that this book was sold by:
The woodcuts are numerous and must have held those Victorian young people spellbound. The following is a selection.
© John Dunn.