- Publisher: Cambridge University Press
- Online publication date: May 2012
- Print publication year: 2012
- First published in: 1837
- Online ISBN: 9781139151948
- DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139151948
Sir John Richardson (1787–1865), surgeon, naturalist and Arctic explorer, went on Sir John Franklin's first two Arctic expeditions as ship's doctor and naturalist, and made observations and collected a large number of plant and animal specimens from the Canadian Arctic. On his return to England after the second expedition he began to write this four-volume work of natural history, first published between 1829 and 1837. A volume is dedicated to each of the classes of mammal, bird, fish and insect, which are found in the Canadian Arctic. This work is an interesting example of pre-Darwinian natural history, full of detailed descriptions of the appearance, anatomy and behaviour of the different species. Volume 4 was first published in 1837 and was written by distinguished entomologist William Kirby (1759–1850) using Richardson's specimens from the second expedition. It focuses on the species of insect found in the Canadian Arctic.