The Birds of Australia (Gould)

The Birds of Australia ( German Birds Australia ) is a work by John Gould, published in seven volumes 1840-1848. It was the first overall view of the birds of Australia, and included descriptions of 681 species. 328 of them the scientific community were new and were first described by Gould.

Gould and his wife Elizabeth traveled in May 1838 along with her ​​eldest child Henry, collector John Gilbert, a nephew and two servants from England to Hobart ( Australia), where they arrived in September to prepare the book. Her two youngest children stayed with Elizabeth's mother. The Gould spent a little less than two years trying to collect specimens for the book. John traveled widely and created expensive collections of Australian birds ( a total of 800 specimens, nests and eggs of more than 70 species of birds, and the skeletons of all basic forms ) and 70 quadrupeds. He was on the individual species and their habitats notes and discovered coincidentally the budgie in two ways, both as a main meal (he was known to have numerous eaten by them ), and secondly as a pet ( he brought several pairs in 1840 returned to England with where they were very popular). Elizabeth, who had illustrated some of his earlier works, made hundreds of drawings of specimens for the publication in The Birds of Australia.

The plates of the book were produced by lithography, Elizabeth made ​​on 84 disks before she died in 1841. By Edward Lear and Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins ever came a plate. The remaining 595 plates were made by Henry Constantine Richter ( 1821-1902 ) to Elizabeth's drawings and published under his name.

250 copies of the seven -volume work were printed. Subscribers of the work had over eight years ( 18 for the Supplement) to wait before they could tie the seven volumes. A complete copy of the original volumes sold in 1996 at a Christie's auction in Melbourne for over 350,000 AUD.