1785 · Paris
by Fourcroy, Antoine Francois de
Paris, 1785. Fourcroy, Antoine-François de (1755-1809). Entomologia Parisiensis. 2 vols. in 1, 12mo. vii, , 544pp., plus 22-page manuscript index in Fourcroy's hand. Lacking title-leaf and conjugate blank in Vol. II. Paris: Via et aedibus Serpentineis, 1785. 144 x 85 mm. Quarter calf gilt, paste paper boards, worn, hinges cracked, spine label chipped; boxed. Light toning but very good internally. The Author's Proof Copy, with his extensive manuscript corrections (some trimmed) on every leaf as well as several notes to the printer; each signature bears in manuscript some variation of "corrigés et tirés" (corrected and printed) or "relisé et tirés" (reread and printed) on the first leaf. Author's Proof Copy of the First and Only Edition, corrected extensively by Fourcroy and with his 22-page manuscript index bound in at the end. A cursory comparison of these proofs to a copy of the final version indicates that most if not all of the corrections were made by the printer prior to publication. We have compared the handwriting in this copy to examples of Fourcroy's hand reproduced in Smeaton's biography and on the Internet, and are satisfied that he himself penned this proof copy's manuscript corrections and annotations. Fourcroy graduated from the Faculté de Médecine de Paris in 1780 and went on to have a brilliant career in chemistry. He was one of the first converts to Lavoisier's antiphlogistic chemistry, which he helped to popularize in his voluminous writings. Fourcroy also had a strong interest in natural history, often doing fieldwork in the countryside around Paris. Realizing that E. L. Geoffroy's local entomology of the Paris region, Histoire abrégé des insectes qui se trouve aux environs de Paris (1762), was incomplete, Fourcroy at first decided to publish a supplement to the work, but "he collected so much new information that in 1785 he published a completely revised edition . . . which contained 300 additional species" (Smeaton, p. 13). The work represents a major contribution to systematic entomology. Smeaton, Fourcroy: Chemist and Revolutionary (1962). Garrison-Morton.com 8943.
(Inventory #: 44237)