A Modern System of Natural History. Containing accurate descriptions, and faithful histories, of animals, vegetables, and minerals. Together with their properties, and various uses in medicine, mechanics, manufactures, &c. KANGAROO, Reverend Samuel WARD.
A Modern System of Natural History. Containing accurate descriptions, and faithful histories, of animals, vegetables, and minerals. Together with their properties, and various uses in medicine, mechanics, manufactures, &c.
A Modern System of Natural History. Containing accurate descriptions, and faithful histories, of animals, vegetables, and minerals. Together with their properties, and various uses in medicine, mechanics, manufactures, &c.
A Modern System of Natural History. Containing accurate descriptions, and faithful histories, of animals, vegetables, and minerals. Together with their properties, and various uses in medicine, mechanics, manufactures, &c.

A Modern System of Natural History…
A Modern System of Natural History. Containing accurate descriptions, and faithful histories, of animals, vegetables, and minerals. Together with their properties, and various uses in medicine, mechanics, manufactures, &c.

London: F. Newberry, 1775.

Twelve duodecimo volumes, with 117 engraved plates (of 118, lacking single plate); preliminaries thumbed, title of one volume perforated and another significantly browned, one leaf of text ink-stained, general foxing and offsetting; worn contemporary sheep, scuffed with split hinges; fair condition overall, as is often the case with juvenile literature of this period.

First children's book to include the kangaroo

A comprehensive natural history encyclopaedia for young people, based on Pennant's system of classification. Animals are arranged according to quadrupeds, fish, birds, and insects, and each of these classifications is separately indexed. Besides the more usual natural history descriptions of animals, vegetables and minerals this work is the first to describe for children Australia's most famous marsupial - the kangaroo. The entry under the Jerboa (vol. III p. 172) reads, 'Mr. Banks brought home the skin of an animal, which he calls the kanguroo [sic], which, from its general outline, and the most striking peculiarity of its figure, greatly remembers the jerboa, yet it entirely differs in size, and in many of those minute distinctions which point out the general ranks of nature. The kanguroo is often known to weigh above fifty pounds'.

A comprehensive natural history encyclopaedia for young people, based on Pennant's system of classification. Animals are arranged according to quadrupeds, fish, birds, and insects, and each of these classifications is separately indexed. Besides the more usual natural history descriptions of animals, vegetables and minerals this work is the first to describe for children Australia's most famous marsupial - the kangaroo. The entry under the Jerboa (vol. III p. 172) reads, 'Mr. Banks brought home the skin of an animal, which he calls the kanguroo [sic], which, from its general outline, and the most striking peculiarity of its figure, greatly remembers the jerboa, yet it entirely differs in size, and in many of those minute distinctions which point out the general ranks of nature. The kanguroo is often known to weigh above fifty pounds'.

The kangaroo was first seen by both Banks and Cook on 24 June 1770, and the first description of it appeared in Hawkesworth's Account of the Voyages published in 1773: 'I should have taken it for a wild dog, if instead of running, it had not leapt like a hare or a deer… Mr. Banks also had an imperfect view of this animal, and was of opinion that its species was hitherto unknown…'. During the remainder of the exploration of the east coast of Australia, Cook records that both he and Banks shot and ate kangaroo on several occasions. He records two in particular that weighed eighty pounds and fifty-four pounds, the skins of which Joseph Banks took back to England with him.

Illustrations of over four hundred animals finely engraved in copper complete this charming eighteenth-century work intended solely to be used by children.

Price (AUD): $3,800.00  other currencies Ref: #4402888