Boreman’s Three Hundred Animals

About 1730, a London bookseller, first published his “Three Hundred Animals”.

Or to be faithful to his creation, the book that by 1753 was “titled”…

A Description of Three Hundred Animals, Viz. Beasts, Birds, Fishes, Serpents, And Insects With A particular Account of the Manner of their Catching of Whales in Greenland !

This wasn’t a learned exposition for men… mostly men, in those days, I fear. But I get a sense that Boreman was more interested in sales that in the promulgation of knowledge. Some of the entries seem to be based more on myths than on fact checked research. All the more amusing for it!

And he has done a fabulous job with illustrations: 97 fine copper-engraved plates, each incorporating up to 11 images, in the 1753 edition. There were many later editions, too. One from 1833 is on the market as I type this.

It may well be that many copies were purchased to be gifts for children. I must thank Henry Sotheran’s of Sackville St London for the following images