American Ornithology; or the Natural History of the Birds of the United States [with a Memoir of Alexander Wilson]. BIRDS, Alexander Wilson, Charles Lucian Bonaparte, Robert Jameson, Memoir, William Maxwell Hetherington.

American Ornithology; or the Natural History of the Birds of the United States [with a Memoir of Alexander Wilson]

Edinburgh: Constable and Co., 1831.

Hardcover. Very good. Four volumes (complete): 4" x 6.5", pp. xcvi, 271; ix, 334; viii, 329; x, 362 + a six-page manuscript index tipped in at the end. Frontis portrait of Wilson and one plate (bald eagle) in Vol. I; frontispiece in each additional volume (night hawk, scarlet ibis, wild turkey). Bound in 3/4 red morocco, marbled boards and endpapers. Minor rubbing to extremities, occasional minor foxing; attractive and sound. This is the first European edition of Wilson's work, as well as the first edition issued with the supplementary text by Bonaparte. Jameson re-ordered the material for this edition in order to "render the work of more easy reference than the original edition" and make it "equally accessible to the general reader and the ornithologist." The complete text of both original works is included, but only 4 plates, uncolored. An Appendix includes a "systematic catalogue of the American birds drawn and described by Audubon," and a "catalogue of the new species of American birds described by Richardson and Swainson" [ie, more than 100 pp excerpted from Fauna Boreali Americana, then being prepared for publication]. "A work of evident genius by a virtually self-taught author, [American Ornithology] represents the first scientific description and listing of American birds" (ANB). Sitwell, Fine Bird Books p. 157.

Item #14048

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