With Nature and a Camera. By Richard Kearton, F. Z. S. Illustrated by 180 Pictures from Photographs by Cherry Kearton; Cassell & Co., London, Paris and Melbourne [New York, East 18th St.], 1898. 8vo. Pages xvi + 368. Price, $5.
Authors may or may not be indebted to reviewers of their works, but it is not often that reviewers are under obligations to the authors of the works they review. In the present instance, however, we feel that we must express our gratitude to the Messrs. Kearton for furnishing us with such an admirable demonstration of the kind of ornithology for which this journal stands. If, following the same lines, we can bring Bird-Lore to the high standard reached in ‘With Nature and a Camera,’ we shall have nearly approached our ideal.
Briefly, this book is a record of observation and photography by two ornithologists in Great Britain. Doubtless, no birds in the world have been more written about than the birds of this region, and still this book is filled with fresh and original matter, which is always interesting, and often of real scientific value.
Asked to explain how it was that in such a well-worked field the author of this volume had succeeded in securing so much new material, we should reply that we believed it was because he was an observer rather than a collector. Apparently realizing that to collect specimens of British birds would add but little to the store of our knowledge concerning them, he has devoted his time to a study of their habits, and in presenting the results of his labors, he has been most ably seconded by his brother, whose photographs of birds in nature have not, so far as we know, been excelled.
Perhaps the most forcible lesson taught by this book is the pleasure to be derived from photographing wild birds in nature, and the surprisingly good results which may be achieved by patient, intelligent effort. We do not recall a more adequately illustrated nature book, and its pictures not only claim our admiration because of their beauty, but also because they carry with them an assurance of fidelity to nature which no artist′s pencil can inspire.