Sunday, 29 May 2011

Green Lanes

I have a few old nature books which I love for their illustration. This is the frontispiece of one of them. The swallow in pursuit of another hunter, the dragonfly.  The sight of swallows as they first arrive and when they swoop through the air in summer is one of the joys of the natural year.  The book does not credit its illustrators but their names are on the drawings, this one is in the bottom right corner, Whymper.  I think this may be Edward Whymper mountaineer and explorer, who is probably most famous for the first ascent of the Matterhorn. When he was not climbing he was an engraver of illustrations for books and magazines.

The book has a slightly battered cover
which I like to think is from being in a pocket while wandering those green lanes, maybe getting a bit damp when observing life in a tarn.  This book is a seventh edition published in 1890. Its author John Taylor was curator of the Ipswich Museum and both a geologist and a naturalist, writing about his specialist subjects in an entertaining way.  In his preface to this edition he ends by saying if the reader "has developed a love for the multitudinous natural objects which surround us, his pleasant labours have not been in vain".

 An entry to Sunday Scans.  A weekly meme dedicated to anything scanned.


jabblog said...

Wonderful old book - a real treasure.

Al said...

I love seeing old books like these - they are so well made. Unlike too many of today's books, whose bindings break after just a couple of reads.

Clytie said...

What a wonderful book - the illustration you chose is gorgeous! As jabblog said - a REAL TREASURE!