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.
It does not seem to have been the author's original intention to publish any letterpress to this enormous work, but to let the plates tell their own story, though finally, with the assistance, as is now known, of William Macgillivray, a text, on the whole more than respectable, was produced in five large Ma egil- octavos under the title of Ornithological Biography, of liyr ay.
In estimating the letterpress, which was avowedly held to be of secondary importance to the plates, we must bear in mind that, to ensure the success of his works, it had to be written to suit a very peculiarly composed body of subscribers.
In 1828 James Wilson (author of the article Ornithology in the 7th and Wilson 8th editions of the present work) began, under the title of Illustrations of Zoology, the publication of a series of his own drawings (which he did not, however, himself engrave) with corresponding letterpress.
A work of somewhat similar character, but one in which the letterpress is of greater value, is the Centurie zoologique of Lesson, a single volume that, though bearing the date 1830 on its title-page, is believed to have been begun in 1829, 1 and was certainly not finished until 1831.