Large quarto, 302 pp., photographs, three chromolithographs including one of Gouldian Finch by Keulemans. Publisher's handsome illustrated green cloth with contemporary spine and corners in heavily gilt-tooled calf to match, all edges gilt (the standard publisher's issue is top edge gilt only), a superb copy and very scarce in this condition.
William Saville-Kent (1845-1908) was an English born marine biologist whose early life was disturbed by the murder of his half-brother by his younger sister. He was employed by the British Museum and was involved in the early establishment of public aquariums and aquaculture research. On the recommendation of Thomas Henry Huxley, he arrived in Tasmania in 1884 to assist the Tasmanian Government with rebuilding their oyster beds and overhauling the fisheries industry. He did similar work in Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania. He was involved with the acclimatisation of Salmon and Brown Trout to Australian waters and wrote many scientific papers and reports. He wrote three major books: A Manual of the Infusoria (three volumes, London, 1880-82), The Great Barrier Reef (London, 1893) and The Naturalist in Australia (London, 1897). His two Australian books are characterised by the liberal use of quality photographs and are important examples of the effective use of photographs for scientific illustration.