Far better both as draughtsman and as authority was George Edwards, who in 1 743 began, under the same title as Albin, a series of plates with letterpress, which was continued by the name of Gleanings in Natural History, and finished in 1760, when it had reached seven parts, forming four quarto volumes, the figures of which are nearly always quoted with approval.4 The year which saw the works of Edwards completed was still further distinguished by the appearance in France, where little had been done since Belon's days,' in six quarto volumes, of the Ornithologie of MathurinJacques Brisson - a work of very great merit so far as it goes, for as a descriptive ornithologist the author stands even now unsurpassed; but it must be said that his knowledge, according to internal evidence, was confined to books and to the external parts of birds' skins.
More than this, he seems to be the earliest ornithologist, perhaps the earliest zoologist, to conceive the idea of each genus possessing what is now called a " type " - though such_a term does not occur in his work; and, in like manner, without declaring it in so many words, he indicated unmistakably the existence of subgenera - all this being effected by the skilful use of names.
Fully admitting the extraordinary execution of the engravings, every ornithologist may perceive that as portraits of the birds they are of very unequal merit.
Yet it must be confessed that its author was hardly an ornithologist, but for the accident of his calling.
Irving (for some time the editor), Paulding, and the ornithologist Wilson.
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