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Francis Hamilton was born on 15 February 1762 as Francis Buchanan on the estate of Bardowie in the county of East Dunbartonshire in Central Scotland. The basis for Hamilton's monograph on the 'Gangetic Fishes' were descriptions and illustrations that he compiled during two long stays in India, each lasting several years.
By combining coloured originals and copies of Hamilton’s initial 225 fish illustrations from deposited in the British Library, Natural History Museum, Linnean Society and Zoological Society of London, this book brings together for the first time 223 coloured illustrations of his fish species. Publication of Hamilton’s Gangetic Fishes in Colour by the Ray Society comprises an introductory chapter by Dr Ralf Britz reviewing of the history of Hamilton’s monograph, a commentary of the different sources of illustrations and a celebration of the achievement of the “Father of Indian ichthyology”; the original text by Hamilton, 223 colour fish plates with captions and an index to these illustrations.