First published in 1772 and reissued here in its 1799 third edition, this work was intended to provide the traveller with advice on collecting and preserving scientific specimens, and on pursuing intellectual investigations. John Coakley Lettsom (1744–1815) was a physician and philanthropist, and on inheriting his family plantation in 1767, his first action was to free all its slaves. He practised medicine in the West Indies and in London, and wrote on topics which he felt would benefit society. This book is divided into two parts, the first describing methods of forming collections of insects, birds and animals, seeds and plants, and minerals. The second part suggests the sorts of questions and enquiries the traveller should ask about the writings, culture, religion, history and natural history of the lands he is visiting. This offers a fascinating insight into the approach and expectations of the educated traveller in the eighteenth century.
Preface; Part I: 1. Method of catching and preserving insects for collections; 2. Method of preserving birds and other animals; 3. Directions for bringing over seeds and plants from distant countries; 4. Method of analizing mineral waters; 5. Of the contents of the air; 6. Directions for collecting and distinguishing fossil substances, including salts, earths, metals and inflammables; Part II: 1. Observations and queries respecting learning, antiquities, religious rites, polite arts, etc.; 2. Commerce, manufactures, arts, trade, etc.; 3. Meteorological observations, food, way of living; animal economy in general, etc.; 4. Zoology; 5. Botany; 6. Mineralogy; 7. Directions for talking off impressions of casts from medals and coins; Index.
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Collana: Cambridge Library Collection - Botany and Horticulture
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