The Naturalist on the River Amazons : A record of adventures, habits of animals, sketches of Brazilian and Indian life, and aspects of nature under the Equator, during eleven years of travel
London: John Murray, 1876.
Illustrated by Illustrated. Fourth Edition. Hardcover. Good+ with no dust jacket. Item #15404
Fraying to spine head and tail, tone, light cock, light edgewear, owner's stamp, later owner's signature, notes on rear flyleaf, otherwise light wear. Solid hardcover.; "Henry Walter Bates, a trusted companion of Alfred Russel Wallace, travelled to Amazonia in 1848, where he became fascinated by close similarities in appearance between unrelated butterflies. Bates was to spend a total of 11 years in Amazonia, a vast network of largely unexplored major rivers and their tributaries set in the world’s largest area of tropical rain forest in South America. A great collector like Wallace, by the time he returned to England in November 1859 Bates had sent back over 14,000 specimens, mainly insects, over half of which were newly recorded species.After returning to England, he read Darwin’s Origin—and put forward his famous idea of mimicry as the explanation: poorly-defended butterflies could evolve to look like brightly-coloured, protected species avoided by predators. Starting with some initial, slightly deceptive resemblance, Bates argued this would be improved by natural selection to produce the remarkable similarities observed." - The Linnean Society; History of Science. Illustrations by Joseph Wolf, E. W. Robinson, Josiah Wood Whymper, Johann Baptist Zwecker. On Bates's return to England, he was encouraged by Charles Darwin to write up his eleven-year stay in the Amazon as a book. "The best book of Natural History Travels ever published in England." - Charles Darwin, Letter to Bates (1863). An attractive early edition of this classic account of scientific exploration and travel. ; x, 394, 32 ad pages.