Owen, Richard; A History of British Fossil Mammals, and Birds. London: John Van Voorst, 1846

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Product Description

Owen, Richard; A History of British Fossil Mammals, and Birds. London: John Van Voorst, 1846. First Edition. Octavo, pp. xlvi, 561 pages of text including an index and an errata page, half title, folding table, 236 woodcut illus., 4 pages of ads. 

The work is complete and in the original hardcover cloth binding. The binding has minor light scuffing and light wear to the spine extremities. The text is bright and clean. Book plate of noted British antiquarian and naturalist Frederick DuCane Godman (1834-1919) on front pastedown with his signature. Godman was one of twenty founding members of the British Ornithologists’ Union and made major contributions to the study of the fauna and flora of Central America. His extensive collection of Ionic, Hispano-Moresque and early Iranian pottery was donated to the British Museum. He was also to become president of the Geological Society of London, the Zoological Society and vice-president of the Royal Geographical Society.


Sir Richard Owen (1804-1892) was a paleontologist, comparative anatomist and biologist and is especially known for his ability in interpreting fossils. While he made several contributions to science and public learning, Owen was a controversial figure among his contemporaries, both for his disagreements on matters of common descent, and for accusations that he took credit for other people's work.

Owen wrote extensively on fossil mammals. He wrote a series of papers on the extinct mammals of Australia and also wrote on the fossils of the British Isles and in 1846 published his “History of British Fossil Mammals and Birds” which provides an extensive survey of the known fossils in the British Isles.