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Monday, May 3, 2010

Book of the Week: The Power of Illustration


Illustrations play an integral role in the work of taxonomists, and they lend a depth, beauty, and sometimes pure romanticism to the volumes containing them. Case in point: this week's book of the week, Our Country's Fishes and How to Know Them: A Guide to all the Fishes of Great Britain (1902) by W.J. Gordon. This charming book contains over 30 plates illustrating the myriad of ichthyoids found in Great Britain. Furthermore, the lists of these fish are itemized according to their local and popular names. As the author points out, the purpose of this volume is the "ready identification of our native species, whether sea-water, fresh-water, or estuarine...[and] as the number of species found in British waters is not large, space has been found for a series of short notes..." So, take a few moments to look through the colorful plates depicting the many and varied species of fish found in Great Britain, and feel free to keep a copy of these illustrations for yourself by downloading high resolution images of these pages by clicking on the "Download Images" options found in the drop down menu entitled "Download/About This Book" when on the page viewer screen. Enjoy!

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