Edited by R. D. Penhallurick

Dr. Jonathan Couch (1789-1870) of Polperro was Cornwall's foremost naturalist in the 19th century, whose importance has been likened to that of Gilbert White. Jonathan Couch's Cornish Birds draws on the Royal Institution of Cornwall's extensive collection of his material, in particular his hitherto unpublished study of Cornish birds begun in 1829, and his 'Journal of Natural History' of which 10 of its 12 volumes had been lost for over a century. Roger Penhallurick has also added material from other contemporary sources. His book includes a short biography of Couch and notes of his local contacts and those of national importance such as Thomas Bewick and William Yarrell, both of whom corresponded with Couch. Illustrations include engravings highlighting the difficulty of identification encountered by early naturalists at a time when ornithology was in its infancy; seasonal and sexual differences were not fully appreciated, nor were different species always identifiable from the black-and-white illustrations then available.

Paperback (24.2cm x 18.5cm) 200 pages, illustrated
(ISBN 09530012-8-8)


"Excellent... I have a feeling this book will be selling out fast." Western Morning News

"A fascinating insight into the methods of birdwatching in the 19th century." Cornish World

"A welcome addition to the Cornish section of my book collection." West Briton

"A comprehensive account of Cornish ornithology... this book goes far beyond the limits of its title." Ibis

"New light shed on Cornish naturalist." Cornish Guardian

"An excellent reference work." Cornwall Association of Local Historians Journal

"Makes intriguing reading for those interested in Cornwall's birds." British Birds

"A fascinating account of bird life in the 19th century." Cornwall Family History Society Journal




Other Titles Include