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.
Thus the whole classification becomes a rounded-off phylogenetic system, which, at least in its broad outlines, seems to approach the natural system, the ideal goal of the scientific ornithologist.
The twentythird of these books is De Avibus, and therein a great number of birds' names make their earliest appearance, few of which are without interest from a philologist's if not an ornithologist's point of view, but there is much difficulty in recognizing the species to which many of them belong.
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.
The several accounts by John White, Collins, Phillips, Hunter and others of the colonization of New South Wales at the end of the last century ought not to be overlooked by any Australian ornithologist.