272 pages, 26 colour & b/w photos and colour & b/w illustrations
There are the three great names in 19th Century biology. Charles Darwin, Alfred Wallace and Henry Walter Bates and yet the only full biography of Bates was written in 1969. This woeful void is remedied by Anthony Crawforth.
Bates was a crucial figure and played an important part in helping both Darwin and Wallace complete their thinking. Batesian Mimicry, as it is still known, developed from the study of butterflies in the amazon rainforest (with Wallace) and provided important supporting evidence for Darwin. And it was Darwin who persuaded Bates to write his travel memoir The Naturalist on the River Amazons and indeed proof read the manuscript. On his travels Bates collected over 14,000 specimens of which over 8000 were at the time new to science. He later went on to become the administrator for the Royal Geographical Society and transformed the society to one which combined exploration with academic research and was responsible for placing geography on the school curriculum.
This is a long overdue book that reassesses Bates's life and work and finally places both the man and his work in their rightful place along side the other greats.
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Anthony Crawforth was born in Coventry in 1934. Educated at King Henry VIII School, he joined the Army for his National Service in 1952 and left as a Colonel in 1979. He then went to City University where he gained his MA in Museum Management whilst taking up an appointment as administrator for the Rothschild family at Waddesdon Manor. Leaving there in 1996, he became a lecturer on the University of Buckingham in their Arts and Heritage Management undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. Fascinated by Henry Walter Bates since his childhood he studied for his PhD in Biography at Buckingham with Bates as his subject. Married with three children and six grandchildren he now lives in Buckinghamshire. He is a Fellow of the Linnaean Society