The aim of this series is to interest the general reader in the wildlife of Britain by recapturing the enquiring spirit of the old naturalists, encouraging unusual and original developments of forgotten or neglected facets of British natural history. Collins are delighted to announce the republication in facsimile form of the first editions of the very first volumes in the New Naturalist Library. Originally planned in the darkest days of World War II and first published in 1945, this series is the longest running nature series in the world. It is a reflection of the quality of the authors and the books they wrote, that they are still sought after 73 years later. The books will be identical in every way to the original first editions, including the iconic jackets by Clifford and Rosemary Ellis. This volume deals with the natural history of British insects, and introduces the reader to some of the latest discoveries and ideas about them. The author has brought thogether within convenient compass a large amount of scientific knowledge, often of absorbing interest; and he describes many of the remarkable features associated with the lives of insects.Only limited treatment is given to butterflies and moths, since there are several excellent books on these insects that are readily accessible, including Dr Ford's colume on Butterflies in the New Naturalist.
When it comes to other insects, beetles, two-winged flies, plant-bugs, bees, lace-wings and the like, it is much less easy to find out much about them. Books on such insects are few and far between, and most of them are rather technical in character. An increasing number of people are interested in the insects of our countryside, and this book is intended to fill at least some of their needs. It will increase their pleasure in observing the creatures with which it deals and may, perhaps, induce some of its readers to become independent observers. There is a great field to be explored by anyone who is drawn to look beneath the mere surface and study in detail any of the very commonest of our insects, no matter to what groups the latter may belong.
1880-1949. Entomologist and university teacher, author of Insect Natural History (1947). Cambridge graduate, cutting his teeth on systematics of midge larvae before leaving for India to teach. Returned to become reader in agricultural entomology, Manchester 1913-18; chief entomologist at Rothamsted 1918-31 and reader in entomology at Cambridge 1931-45. FRS 1929, Fellow of Downing College (1940). The authority on insect morphology and systematics, won lasting influence as author of the standard General Textbook of Entomology (1925). Lifelong asthmatic, whose somewhat dour, reserved manner was eventually 'warmed by the genial college atmosphere'. In all four phases of his career he was obliged to design new laboratories from scratch.