“BEST OF THE GENTLEMAN NATURALISTS”: PENNANT’S CLASSIC ARCTIC ZOOLOGY, WITH 23 ENGRAVED PLATES
(PENNANT, Thomas). Arctic Zoology. London: Henry Hughs, 1784-85. Two volumes. Quarto, modern half brown calf, raised bands, marbled boards, uncut. $2500.
First edition of Pennant’s “classic work,” with 23 engraved plates-an attractively bound, uncut copy.
“The work, which must be regarded as the most prominent of Pennant’s works, was originally planned as a sketch of the zoology of North America, but was later enlarged with the addition of descriptions of the quadrupeds and birds of the parts of Europe and Asia lying north of latitude 60 degrees N” (Anker 397). “He was able to combine his own observations with information from Thomas Hutchins, Ashton Blackburn, Alexander Garden, Benjamin Smith Barton, and Peter Simon Pallas, and thus to produce his classic work, Arctic Zoology” (DSB). Volume I is primarily dedicated to the discussion of mammals, Volume II to birds. Born in 1726, Pennant “was a representative of the best of the gentleman-naturalists who flourished in the late 18th century and sought to comprehend all of nature” (DSB); Samuel Johnson said that ”Pennant has greater variety of inquiry than almost any man, and has told us more perhaps than one in ten thousand could have done in the time that he took” (Allibone, 1554). Without the 1787 supplemental volume, as usual. Ayer, 489-90. Lowndes, 1823. Anker 397.
Interior exceptionally clean. Attractive bindings fine. An excellent uncut copy.