AUDUBON, John James (1785-1851)
Synopsis of the Birds of North America
Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black; London: Longman [et. al.], 1839. 8vo. xii, 359, pp. Publisher's ad mounted on the front endpaper. Uncut.
Publisher's pink cloth, paper label on the spine
First edition of Audubon's scarce, separately-published systemic index to the elephant folio Birds of North America.
"The figures and descriptions contained in the works entitled 'The Birds of North America' and 'Ornithological Biography...' having been issued in the miscellaneous manner which was thought best adapted to the occasion, or which was rendered necessary by circumstances, seemed to require a systemic index, in which the nomenclature should be corrected, and the species arranged agreeably to my present views. This Synopsis, then, will afford a methodical catalogue of all the species hitherto discovered in the cast regions, extending from the northern confines of Mexico to the Polar Seas..." (Preface). Audubon's Synopsis was published following the completion of the elephant folio first edition and the final volume of the Ornithological Biography, but prior to the start of the first octavo edition of the Birds, which would begin publishing later in 1839 and would follow the arrangement of the Synopsis. "A systematic classification of the birds treated in the folio, Birds of America ... with references to the plates and the text, respectively ... Several new specific names date from this volume" (Wood).