UMass Amherst
Edward Donovan

The natural history of British insects : explaining them in their several states, with the periods of their transformations, their food, oeconomy, &c. together with the history of such minute insects as require investigation by the microscope : The whole illustrated by coloured figures, designed and executed from living specimens, vol. 16.
London : Printed for the author, and for F. and C. Rivington, 1792-1813.
16 v. : 576 plates (568 col.) ; 24 cm.

Call no.: QL482.G7 D6 1792.

A Fellow of the Linnaean Society, Edward Donovan (1768-1837) was as ambitious as any entomologist, publishing massive, sumptuously illustrated works on the insect faunas of England and its imperial possessions in India and China. A delicate draftsman, obsessed with getting the vibrant colors of his insects correct, Donovan opened a private museum in London in 1807 to display his insect collections and paintings. Sadly, his ambition outpaced public interest, and Donovan died penniless in 1837.

SCUA also houses a fine copy of a later edition of Donovan's important Natural history of the insects of China (London, 1842), originally published in 1798.

title page

Lampyris Lampyris festive (Festive Lampyris). "An insect of more striking aspect, notwithstanding the inferiority of its size, can scarcely present itself. It appears to be extremely rare; indeed, we have not seen it in any other cabinet than that of the late Mr. Drury, now in our possession..."

staphylinus Staphylinus angustatis (Narrow Rove-beetle)