OWEN, Richard (1804-1892)
Memoir on the Pearly Nautilus (Nautilus Pompilius, Linn.) with Illustrations of its External Form and Internal Structure
London: Printed by Richard Taylor ... Sold by W. Wood, 1832. 4to. (11 1/8 x 9 inches). 68pp. 8 plates (of which 1-7 are in two states).
Original cloth, gilt titling to spine.
Provenance: Marie V. Lebour (bookplate)
Sir Richard Owen was a prominent biologist and paleontologist who was widely regarded as one of the greatest naturalists of the Victorian era. He produced numerous publications throughout his life, and this was his first monograph. Owen's detailed anatomical descriptions were based on a single specimen with intact parts (while the animal was previously known only from its distinctive shell). The work includes chapters on the morphology of the shell and various body systems; Owen also modified Cuvier's systematics, proposing two orders of Cephalopoda. The beautifully-executed plates were drawn by Owen himself, and each plate except the last is accompanied by an opposing index plate which corresponds to descriptions in the text. This copy is with provenance to Marie Victoire Lebour (1876-1971), a notable British marine biologist who published over 175 works throughout her career, during a time when there was only a small number of women scientists, and is best known for her study of the life cycles of various molluscs and marine animals.