The Animal Life of the World in its various Aspects and Relations. By J. R. AlNSWORTH Davis, M.A., of Trinity College, Cambridge, and of University College, Aberystwyth. Profusely illustrated with full-page colour and black-and-white plates, and engravings in the text, by eminent animal artists. In 8 half-volumes, cl. extra; also in 4 volumes, Roxburgh binding.

While the sum of human knowledge is gigantic now as compared with what it was a hundred years ago. in the department of Natural History the books upon which the great majority of us must depend have undergone practically no change. The general Natural History still follows the lines adopted by Goldsmith in his famous and delightful Earth and Animated Nature. That is to say, they are little more than classified catalogues of animals, taking up in succession the various groups and individuals, and describing them one after another, each as standing by itself. This is not what the intelligent reader of the present day requires. He must be put in a position to take a comprehensive grasp of the subject; he demands a competent guide, not a directory, however accurate.

It is with this end in view that The Natural History of Animals has been compiled. It treats this great subject on essentially modern lines, giving an accurate and vivid account of the habits, relationships, mutual interdependence, adaptation to environment, etc., of the living animals of the world.

It is needless to say that the production of such a work demanded a man who has devoted his life to the study of biology and zoology, and who at the same time is a gifted writer and expounder. This rare combination has been found in the person of Prof. J. R. AlNSWORTH DAVIS, M.A., of Trinity College, Cambridge, and of University College, Aberystwyth, the author of the present work. Prof. Davis is well known to naturalists as an ardent worker in Natural History, particularly in the field of marine zoology. He is a very distinguished graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge, the chief scientific school in Britain, perhaps in the world, and has done a great deal of literary work, both scientific and in other directions.

Briefly, the object of Prof. Davis's work is to give in a readable form and in non-technical language a general survey of the whole animal world from the stand-point of modern science - and the work may fairly claim to be a Natural History on a new plan, the first comprehensive work in English of its own special kind. Formerly Natural History had much the character of a miscellaneous aggregate of disconnected facts, but hardly any fact or feature connected with any animal can now be considered as isolated from others; and animals as a whole must be looked upon as interrelated in the most surprising manner both with one another and with their surroundings.

Every household library should contain a Bible, a Dictionary, an Encyclopedia, and a work on Natural History. This is the "irreducible minimum"; other books we may have, these we must. For The Natural History of Animals it may fairly be claimed that it has a better title than any other work to become the Natural History for the Household. It is a work in which the adult reader will find a never-failing mine of information, while the younger members of the family will delight in its wealth of illustration, and its store of interesting and suggestive anecdote.

To teachers The Natural History of Animals may be regarded as indispensable. More than usual attention has of late been directed to the important subject of Nature-study; and in this respect the appearance of Prof. Davis's work could scarcely have been more fitly timed. In the domain of Natural History it is pre-eminently the book for the purpose. Its clear and orderly arrangement of facts, its masterly grasp of general principles, its comprehensiveness of scope and simplicity of style, combined with the most absolute scientific accuracy, render this work an invaluable book of reference for those who aspire to teach Nature-study on up-to-date principles.

The Illustrations, as befits a work of such importance, are on the most lavish scale. A large number are in colour, reproductions, by the latest processes of colour engraving, of exquisite pictures by the most eminent animal draughtsmen. In illustrating the work talent has been sought wherever it was to be found; and the list of artists is representative of several nationalities. A large number of the designs are the work of Mr. A. Fairfax Muckley, who is probably unsurpassed in the capacity to depict living creatures with absolute fidelity to detail without sacrificing the general artistic effect. Friedrich Specht, one of the most eminent German animal painters of the past century, is represented in The Natural History of Animals by many of his best designs in colour and black-and-white. W. Kuhnert, another German artist whose work is universally admired; and M. A. Koekkoek, the talented Dutch painter, are also among those who have assisted in the embellishment of the work. An important feature is the series of diagrammatic designs showing the structure of certain typical animals, specially drawn under the direction of Prof. Davis.

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