Books  Natural History  Biography, Exploration & Travel 

Doctor By Nature: Jonathan Couch: Surgeon of Polperro

Biography / Memoir

By: Jeremy Rowett Johns

158 pages, B/w illus

Polperro Heritage Press

Paperback | Apr 2010 | #188350 | ISBN-13: 9780955954139
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £8.95 $12/€10 approx
Hardback | Mar 2010 | #188375 | ISBN-13: 9780955954122
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £15.99 $21/€18 approx

About this book

Jonathan Couch (1789-1870), surgeon apothecary of Polperro, was one of the pioneering natural historians of his day, paving the way for others such as Darwin and Huxley to follow. His own county of Cornwall was every bit as much a place of discovery as the Galapagos Islands and his reputation is secured by his great works, notably his four-volume Fishes of the British Islands which remains a standard work of reference today. But his lively mind also turned to the migration of birds and the habits of bats; he wrote about fossils and flowing plants, sharks and shooting stars, crabs and carpenter bees, porpoises and potato disease.

This account of his life and work, drawing on much previously unpublished material, tells the story of a remarkable man who, born in humble circumstances, rose to become one of the leading natural scientists of the 19th century.


Acknowledgements Illustrations Introduction 5 I A Lively And Enquiring Mind 9 II Looming Reality Of War 10 III Love At First Sight 13 IV A Sudden And Brutal End 17 V Dreadful Times 22 VI Rooks of Trelawne 30 VII Age Of Discovery 39 VIII Wesley's Legacy 46 IX Refusal To Bury 53 X Cornish Ichthyologist 60 XI Family Tradition 66 XII A Deadly Disease 72 XIII Man-Midwife 79 XIV A Good Horse 84 XV 'Horrid Old Man' 89 XVI Mysterious Fossils 94 XVII Magnum Opus 103 XVIII Fame And Acclaim 109 Epilogue 115 Notes & References Bibliography Appendix: Couch Family Publications Index

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Jeremy Rowett Johns is a writer and publisher who, after a career in journalism and broadcasting, established the Polperro Heritage Press in 2000, specialising in non-fiction Cornish history and biography. He is the author of Polperro's Smuggling Story and The Smugglers' Banker, and a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London.

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