This electronic version of Mark Catesby's Natural History of
Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands is divided into two
volumes, following Catesby's own organization of his work. Readers
can browse each volume or go directly to specific entries from the
contents pages. Another way to navigate this etext is through the
Linnaean index. The binomial nomenclature provided here is taken
from the 1771 edition of Natural History
published by Benjamin White. Selecting the small image on each page
will open a window with a larger copy of this image.
I have not altered Catesby's idiosyncracies in spelling, grammer
or punctuation, but for the sake of legibility I have bolded words
which Catesby italicized. To the same end, I have normalized the
appearance of the long s.
In this electronic edition Catesby's preface appears at the start
of Volume II. This is how the sections were bound in most copies
of the first edition, as well as in subsequent editions, but this
does depart from the copy I used in which the preface begins Volume
II. While the text in every edition of Catesby's work is in French
and English, I have only reproduced his words in English. This electronic
edition also departs from each printed edition in that illustrations
appear on the same page as the text while Catesby's illustration
and relevant text were each on a separate page. Readers wishing
to view a larger image, should click on the thumbnail.
The images and text in this electronic edition are taken from a
first edition copy, published in installments from 1731 through
1743 in London at the expense of the author, at the Albert and Shirley
Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia.
I am extremely grateful to the staff of Special Collections for
making these digital images available to me. As the twenty plate
appendix to Volume II is missing from this copy. I relied upon a
separately bound copy of the appendix, published
in 1748, again from the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections
Library at the University of Virginia, for those images.
In 1747 Mark Catesby published the final installment of The Natural
History of Florida, Carolina and the Bahama Islands. Its production,
from inception to publication, took close to thirty years. All two-hundred
and twenty images were first drawn, then engraved by Catesby's own
hand. But without the substantial aid of several others, this work
could not have been published. The prefatory
essay provides the Natural History's own history, a fascinating
tale of the political, commercial and scientific forces impacting
both the author and the subject of this great work.