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NATURAL HISTORY

ITS RISE AND PROGRESS IN BRITAIN

AS DEVELOPED IN THE

Life and Labours of Leading Naturalists

BY

H. ALLEYNE NICHOLSON, M.D., D.Sc.

REGIUS PROFESSOR OF NATURAL HISTORY IN THE

UNIVERSITY OF ABERDEEN

W. & R. CHAMBERS
LONDON AND EDINBURGH

1886

Edinburgh: Printed by W. & R. Chambers..

K-QH21

G7N5

Biol, Lib

PREFACE.

In the present work the Author has endeavoured to give a brief and general outline of the rise and progress of the science of Natural History in Britain. As the great advances in this and other sciences have been for the most part brought about by individual workers, it has been thought desirable, in consistence with the principle of the Series to which this book belongs, to throw this outline into the form of biographical sketches; and as some of the most important steps in the development of the science of zoology have been effected by foreign investigators, it has been necessary to some extent to pass beyond the limits of our own country.

As the last great epoch in zoology is that marked by the appearance of the Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection,' the survey here undertaken ends naturally with the great name of Darwin; obvious reasons rendering it undesirable

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to attempt any estimate of the scientific work of the great naturalists who are still among us.

It is hardly necessary to add that the present work lays no claim to exhaustiveness. Anything of the nature of a detailed history of the rise and progress of Zoological Science would necessarily appeal to experts only. That which has been attempted here, is to give an untechnical, but not unscientific, account of the principal steps which have marked the development of Natural History in our own country. The object of this volume, as of the Series, is to convey through the biographies of the principal workers, an intelligent conception of the progress and leading principles of the science treated of, so that the unprofessional reader may be placed in a position of knowledge to appreciate some of the great questions which at present occupy the scientific world.

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