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An Introduction to Entomology, Volume 1: Or, Elements of the Natural History of Insects

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Series: An Introduction to Entomology Volume: 1

By: William Kirby(Author), William Spence(Author)

580 pages, b/w illustrations

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Edition: 1 | #218962 | ISBN-13: 9781108065559
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About this book

A reprint of a classical work in the Cambridge Library Collection.

A Cambridge-educated clergyman, William Kirby (1759–1850) published his first entomological work on the bees in his Suffolk parish. By contrast, the early writings of William Spence (c.1782–1860) were concerned with political economy. Having developed an interest in insects, Spence became acquainted with Kirby in 1805 and the pair collaborated on this influential four-volume illustrated work, originally published between 1815 and 1826. Spence researched for several months in the library of Sir Joseph Banks, to whom the work is dedicated, but illness later forced Kirby to complete the project. Significantly, he distanced himself from Spence's secular treatment of insect behaviour. Charles Darwin, who had the work with him aboard the Beagle, deemed this 'the best discussion on instincts ever published'.

Volume 1 is reissued here in its first edition of 1815. The volume includes coverage of applied entomology, notably the impact that insects have on agriculture.


1. Introductory
2. Objections answered
3. Metamorphoses of insects
4. Direct injuries caused by insects
5. Indirect injuries caused by insects
6. Indirect injuries continued
7. The same continued
8. Indirect injuries concluded
9. Indirect benefits derived from insects
10. Direct benefits derived from insects
11. Affection of insects for their young
12. Food of insects
13. The same subject continued
14. Habitations of insects
15. Habitations of insects continued

Appendix (1817)

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