8vo, pp. xvii, , [1 (blank)], 448, with frontispiece portrait and 50 wood-engraved plates (each with 2 images); numerous woodcut vignettes in text; light toning and dust-staining, a few slight spots; a very good copy in later mottled calf by Bayntun, borders French-filleted, spine richly gilt in compartments with gilt brown morocco lettering-piece in one, board-edges and turn-ins roll-tooled in gilt, top-edge gilt, others uncut, marbled endpapers; lightly rubbed at extremities, minor chipping to head-cap and short splits to upper joint; nineteenth-century ink ownership marks of H.B. Skinner.
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Letters on natural History, exhibiting a View of the Power, Wisdom, and Goodness of the Deity, so eminently displayed in the Formation of the Universe, and various Relations of Utility which inferior Beings have to the human Species, calculated particularly for the Use of Schools, and young Persons in general of both Sexes, in order to impress their Minds with a just Idea of its great Author, illustrated by upwards of one hundred engraved Subjects applicable to the Work.
Scarce first edition of Bigland’s Letters on natural History. Published ‘for the use of schools and young persons in general’, Bigland’s natural history intended to show ‘the power, wisdom, and goodness of the Deity’. Its attempts at taxonomy, however, are rudimentary, as Bigland considered it best ‘to range the different orders according to their visible resemblance … without burdening the memory with artificial systems and scientific discriminations’.
Library Hub records only three complete copies in UK institutions (BL, Bodleian, CUL, with a defective copy at NLS).
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