A Natural History of the Nests and Eggs of British Birds by the Reverend Francis O. Morris, 1865-1866 reissue of the first edition in the publisher’s original cloth.
Octavo, [two volumes], iv, 156pp; iv, 148pp; iv, 140pp. Publisher’s original green cloth, elaborately stamped in blind with gilt bird’s nest stamped on front covers. Title in gilt on spines with floral embellishments. Yellow endpapers. Complete with 225 hand-colored engravings with tissue guards, bright colors, occasional mild foxing. Corners and board edges lightly bumped. Spine ends and edges lightly rubbed with minor loss of cloth. Mild intermittent foxing to text pages, some foxing to edge of text blocks, each volume has a few unopened leaves along top edge, touch of shelf wear to covers. Front endpapers of each volume cracked, but hinges secure. Armorial bookplate of Joseph Jones on front pastedowns. (Fine Bird Books, 1990 p. 125) (Wood 472) (Mullens & Swann p. 417) (Zimmer p. 443) An attractive example.
Rev. Francis O. Morris (1810-1893) was known for his popular writings on natural history, particularly birds and insects. Morris’ A Natural History of the Nests and Eggs of British Birds was first published in 1853-1856 by Groombridge and Sons of London and printed by noted engraver Benjamin Fawcett. This set is a reissue of the first edition, published and printed by the same duo in 1865-1866. The illustrations are hand-colored wood engravings. Mullens & Swann describe the first edition of Nest and Eggs as containing 223 plates, less nine plates which were not published. A reissue from 1866-1867 found in Zimmer contains 225 plates, having the addition of plates XL and XLII which were two of the nine omitted from the original edition. This 1865-1866 reissue has the two additional plates noted in Zimmer, plus an insert-slip at page 21 noting the omission of plates XI, LV, LVI, LX, LXIX, XCIV and CXIX since “properly identified specimens have not been procurable.” The second edition of this work was published by Bell and Daldy of London in 1870.