The geographical distribution of the family charadriidae, or the plovers, sandpipers, snipes, and their allies.
London: Henry Sotheran & Co., 1887-1888. 4to. xxviii, 524 pp. FIRST EDITION. Complete with index, title vignette and 12 hand-colored plates after J.K. Keulemans (including the frontispiece), plus engraved text illustrations. Original green morocco, covers ruled in black with gilt lettering; despite some wear to the edges, a very beautiful copy from the library of Walter Henry James and Walter John James with their armorial bookplates on the paste-down. Item #16318
First edition, first issue (with the Slender-billed Dotterel frontispiece) of this milestone treatise on the shore-birds of the world. Seebohm writes the most comprehensive account on this group of birds, dealing with their distribution and mutual relationships. The subject is developed over thirty chapters, from general questions (the classification of the species) to a systematic treatment of each genus where the author describes its character, synonymy, and geographical distribution. Keulmans’ exquisite plates illustrated a number of species for the first time. Seebohm also includes a discussion of Darwin in the introduction.
Seebohm (1832-1895) settled in Sheffield as a manufacturer of steel, but most of his time was devoted to ornithology. He visited Southern Europe and South Africa to study European birds in their winter quarters and to collect materials for the present work. He was a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and of the Linnean Society.