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Widely respected by contemporaries for his work in natural history, Leonard Jenyns (1800–93) combined research with his duties as an Anglican clergyman. He published and lectured extensively on zoology and botany. Having recommended Darwin for the Beagle voyage, he later produced a paper, 'On the Variation of Species', which Darwin personally requested to see. This 1835 work catalogues five classes of vertebrates: mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. Native, introduced and extinct species of the British Isles are included, with binomial and common names given, along with the dimensions and a description. An improvement on previous works which had overly relied on secondary sources, Jenyns's manual also provides information on location, diet and propagation. The catalogue testifies to the diligent work being carried out in natural history in the era prior to Darwin's revolution. Jenyns's Observations in Natural History (1846) and Observations in Meteorology (1858) are also reissued in this series.
Although devoted to his parish, Leonard Jenyns (1800–93) combined his clerical duties with keen research into natural history. Notably, he was offered the place on the Beagle that later went to Charles Darwin. His numerous works include A Manual of British Vertebrate Animals (1835) and Observations in Meteorology (1858), both of which are reissued in this series. First published in 1846, the present work was originally intended as a companion volume to Gilbert White's acclaimed Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne (1789), which Jenyns had copied out as a student at Eton. The product of two decades of meticulous observation of Jenyns' surroundings in eastern England, the text includes journal entries with careful records on a wide variety of wildlife, including quadrupeds, birds, reptiles, fish, insects and molluscs. Also featuring a detailed calendar of periodic phenomena, this work illuminates the rhythms and quirks of the natural world in England.