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The Naturalist on the River Amazons – Henry W Bates – 1892

Short Description

Title continues … A Record of Adventures, Habits of Animals, Sketches of Brazilian and Indian Life, and aspects of Nature under the Equator, during Eleven Years of Travel. With a Memoir of the Author by Edward Clodd.

Originally published as a two-volume set, this is the later one volume edition, published the year of the authors death.

Published by John Murray, London in 1892. Octavo, lxxxix, 386 pages. Illustrated throughout, including a double colour page spread of Amazonian butterflies. Original green decorated cloth covered boards. Previous ownership and gift inscription at front ... nice ones. A very good copy of a desirable account.

Henry Walter Bates (1825-1892) naturalist and explorer accompanied Alfred Russell Wallace on a famous expedition into the rain forests of the Amazon commencing in 1848. Wallace returned to England in 1852, whilst Bates remained there until 1849 a full eleven years. Furthermore, unfortunately Wallace lost all his specimens on the return voyage due to fire on the ship, whilst bates returned with nearly 15,000 specimens of which a massive 8,000 were new to science. This book is the record of his work.

Bates and Wallace had been friends at school and their interest in science soon focused on elements of natural history and the developing theories on the origin of species. When in the Amazons the two friends largely went their separate ways, to maximise the opportunities for finding new species. Bates travelled to Cameta on the Tocantins Rivers and then up the Amazon to its higher reaches making a base camp at Tefe where he stayed for four and half years. Despite the eleven years he returned to England earlier than he would have liked due to ill health. His book took another two years to write up and is regarded as one of the finest reports on natural history travels.

The lengthy (72 page) memoir is something special drawing on numerous letters between Bates and his distinguished group ... we have provided and image of an exchange with Charles Darwin ... there could be no better advertisement fro the book. The writer of the memoir, Edward Clodd, was a wealthy banker and an anthropologist. He mixed with the Darwin crowd, wrote a biography of Huxley, and generally saw and entertained a plethora of scientists and writers, including fictional, at his upmarket country residence.

Henry Bates in the Amazon colleague of Wallace and friends of Darwin, Hooker, Huxley etc al


Price: $240.00

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