A Handbook to the study of natural history - PDF book by Lady Isabel Margesson

A Handbook to the study of natural history for the use of beginners

A Handbook to the study of natural history


In offering this Handbook to lovers of Nature, I wish very heartily to thank all the contributors who have so kindly enabled me to carry out my idea of putting before the Beginner a clue to the many paths of the somewhat bewildering labyrinth called Natural Science.

 I hope the following Chapters may overcome some of the difficulties felt by would-be learners, who are often baffled at the beginning of their studies by their ignorance of the right lines on which to work. 

The Book is not intended to take the place of a Primer; it aims, rather, at being indicative of the possibilities and limitations of many branches of the Science, the Author of each Chapter aspiring to play the part of the " Naturalist friend " to the mere lover of Nature, in persuading him to gain some certain knowledge of her laws and secrets. Such a description is here set before the Reader, as will enable him to choose for his studies that particular branch for which he has the most inclination and aptitude.

 I must especially offer my sincere thanks to Sir Mountstuart Grant Duff, for his kindness in writing the Introduction to this Book. May I add that Sir Mountstuart is the " Naturalist friend," who, some years ago, persuaded me to take up the study of Botany, for which I shall always owe him a debt of gratitude?


This book is an insidious attack upon that blissful ignorance of the objects immediately surrounding them which has for some time been the apanage, in all countries, of many who imagine themselves to have received ' a first-rate education.' Beyond the pale of civilization, it is not unusual to find people whose observing faculties, abnormally cultivated by the necessities of their life, have taught them a great deal about their environment.

 I remember coming across a set of all but naked barbarians, at Matheran, in the Bombay hills, who knew the name of every tree or shrub in their jungles; and I also remember asking a subordinate of the Forest Department, in another part of India who would have been very much hurt, indeed, if he had been considered beyond the pale of civilization the name of a shrub we were passing, and being rewarded by the novel information that it was ' a shrub.' 

Lady Isabel Margesson has, by collecting and editing these papers, practised against the peace of that large class of persons who desire to know nothing beyond the fact that a shrub is a shrub, and a bird a class admirably represented by a boy, who, after listening with exemplary patience to some botanical information which was being communicated to him, said, ' Now, Uncle Charles, don't you think we might stop and talk like gentlemen for a little?

the book details :
  • Author: Lady Isabel Margesson
  • Publication date: 1894
  • Company: London: G. Philip

  • Download 16 MB

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