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Stella & Rose's Books

Specialists in Rare & collectable books

New Naturalist Books




Look at a collection of New Naturalists in their beautiful dust wrappers; touch the green buckram bindings, the top quality paper. Savour the visual and tactile sensations.
Sensual and alluring - absolutely!

The New Naturalist Library is a series of about one hundred books first issued in Great Britain by William Collins in 1945 and continuing into the 1990's with it's peak in the 50's and 60's. The series covers every aspect of British Natural History from Moles to Measles. Clifford and Rosemary Ellis painted most of the dustwrappers. The series is worth acquiring simply for these works of art. From the subtlety of the Swallowtails for Butterflies (the first title published in 1945) to the dramatic and terrifying mole for the monograph The Mole.

The original aim was:

"To interest the general reader in the wild life of Britain by recapturing the inquiring spirit of the old naturalists."

They are not science for the masses and though enjoyable are not light reading being scientifically accurate and detailed. Indeed many became standard reference works in their field. Persist and your efforts are rewarded, magnificent colour plates and a real insight into the subject. In most cases the information is still valid with some notable exceptions; Man and The Land is a little outdated in it's views on the origins of landscape.

Environmentalism was barely a word when Nature Conservation in Britain was published in 1969.

Looking back the series can now be viewed to have been produced in five broad areas:

Regions, Habitats, Animal and Plant Groups, Specials and Monographs on single species.

Regions includes The Broads (1965) and Snowdonia (1966)

Habitats includes Mountains and Moorlands (1950) and Hedges (1974)

Animal and plant groups includes Wild Orchids (1951) and Ants ((1953)

Specials include The Art of Botanical Illustration (1950) and An Angler's Entomology (1952)

Monographs range from The Badger (1948) to The Trout (1967)

There is perhaps a slight bias towards Birds in the 100 titles but every
aspect of the Natural History of Great Britain is covered so not only are your visual and tactile sensations stimulated your brain is as well.


(Published 27th Oct 2014)

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