Monday, January 18, 2010

The Nature Library - Birds by Neltje Blanchon

I bought this great copy of Birds by Neltje Blanchan a few years ago at used bookstore in Massachusetts. Blanchan was a historian and naturalist, publishing many books in her lifetime. She was also the wife of Doubleday Publishing Group founder, Frank Nelson Doubleday. This edition was printed in 1927, but the copyright is 1916. The illustrations are by R.E. Todhunter.
This copy of Birds combines several of Blanchan other books on birds, including Bird Neighbors, which is available on Project Gutenberg.

 title page
screech owls
sample page
This really cool banner is at the foot of every page. What a nice touch.
sparrow hawk
The Todhunter prints, though not quite Audubon, are impressive. Much like I hit a dead end researching Walter Ferro and his woodcuts when I posted on Loren Eiseley's book, I can't find anything on Todhunter except people posting or selling his prints. It's really unfortunate that terrific illustrators seem to present us with their art and then move into obscurity. Here are a couple other prints from the book.

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