Text: Edgar Allan Poe (ed. J. A. Harrison), “Review of A Synopsis of Natural History,” The Complete Works of Edgar Allan PoeVol. X: Literary Criticism - part 03 (1902), pp. 26-27


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[page 26:]

A SYNOPSIS OF NATURAL HISTORY; EMBRACING THE NATURAL HISTORY OF ANIMALS, WITH HUMAN AND GENERAL ANIMAL PHYSIOLOGY, BOTANY, VEGETABLE PHYSIOLOGY, AND GEOLOGY. TRANSLATED FROM THE LATEST FRENCH EDITION OF C. LEMMONNIER, PROFESSOR OF NATURAL HISTORY IN THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF CHARLEMAGNE; WITH ADDITIONS FROM THE WORKS OF CUVIER, DUMARIL, LACEPEDE, ETC. ARRANGED AS A TEXT BOOK FOR SCHOOLS. BY THOMAS WYATT, A.M., AUTHOR OF ELEMENTS OF BOTANY, A MANUAL OF CONCHOLOGY, ETC. THOMAS WARDLE, PHILADELPHIA.

[Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine, July, 1839.(1)]

MR. WYATT is favourably known to the public as the author of an exceedingly well arranged, accurate, and beautifully illustrated “Conchology,” and has been mainly instrumental, we believe, in drawing that public attention to the science in this country which is now so obviously manifested. We hope that his success with the present publication will be commensurate with the wider range which he has taken. It cannot be denied that a synopsis such as he now puts forth has been long a desideratum. While there has been no deficiency of school books in any one of the sciences embraced within a proper course of Natural History, it must still have occurred to many as singular, that in a study whose very existence may be said to depend upon method, there should have been, hitherto, no attempt at collecting the parts into an easily discernible whole. [page 27:]

As the work of Mr. Wyatt professes to be simply a translation of the well-known “Tableaux” of M. Lemmonnier, we need say little more in the way of recommendation than that all the useful spirit of the original has been preserved — and this we say from personal knowledge, and the closest inspection and collation. In changing the tabular form of the French publication to one better suiting the purposes of our American schools, some little latitude was of course admissible and unavoidable. The book is a large octavo, beautifully printed on fine paper, and illustrated by forty-nine well-executed plates. Copies, coloured with accuracy, under the superintendence of Mr. James Ackermann, are for sale at our principal bookstores. The whole work does credit to all parties, and should be patronized, not less for its intrinsic value than as a matter of just policy, by all Philadelphians who have the publishing interest of the city at heart.

 


[[Footnotes]]

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 26:]

1.  Reprinted because of the light it throws on Poe’s “Conchology”; see “Memorials of Edgar Allan Poe.” — ED.


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Notes:

None.


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[S:1 - JAHCW, 1902] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe (J. A. Harrison) (Review of A Synopsis of Natural History)