A reprint of a classical work in the Cambridge Library Collection.
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 1, first published in 1829, focuses on mammals. Descriptions of the species sometimes include details of interactions between humans and that species; for example, unfortunate encounters between sailors and polar bears.
Explanation of the references to authors
Systematic list of the species
Index to the species