Wanderings in South America, the North-West of the United States, and the Antilles, in the Years 1812, 1816, 1820, and 1824 : With Original Instructions for the Perfect Preservation of Birds, etc for Cabinets of Natural History
Although in the original preface to this work the British naturalist Charles Waterton (1782-1865) modestly says his book has 'little merit', his account is a rich description of his experiences in South America and the Caribbean. Waterton managed his family's sugar plantations in Demerara from 1804 to 1812, studied natural history, and later (1812-25) divided his time between the Americas and Europe. This book, originally published in 1825 and reissued here in its 1828 second edition, describes his four expeditions, beginning with his search deep in the rainforest for samples of the rare poison, curare. Waterton also recounts a fierce battle with the Maroons, but his main focus is zoology, including the capture of 'an enormous Coulacara snake', encounters with sloths, monkeys and vampire bats, and close observations of a huge variety of birds. The final chapter describes Waterton's methods of 'preserving birds for cabinets of natural history'.
- Electronic book text
- 05 Mar 2012
- CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
- Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
- Cambridge, United Kingdom
- 1 b/w illus.
Table of contents
Preface; First journey; Second journey; Third journey; Fourth journey; On preserving birds for cabinets of natural history.