New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1904. Hard Cover. Very Good binding. Item #5810
Octavo. xii, 311 pp., plates. First edition inscribed by Comstock on the half title. As issued in blue cloth with pictorial pastedown on the front cover and spine titled in gold. All 45 color plates with printed tissue guards are present as called for. An indifferent copy with wear to the extremities including softened corners; sunned spine and a small spot of discoloration at the top of the front covers; contents are clean and the binding is solid. Anna Botsford Comstock is most known for her pioneering work in environmental education culminating in her book Handbook of Nature-Study. Her work brought her an assistant professorship at Cornell in 1908, the first woman to have that distinction; she retired from Cornell as a full professor in 1922. But she was also a respected science illustrator. This present work is an excellent example of one of her collaboration with her spouse, John Henry Comstock. While the 45 plates are photographs, there are many in-text engravings by Ms. Comstock. Samantha D'Acunto, in her sketch of Comstock for the New York Botanical Gardens notes, "Her attention to detail when drawing and printing insects awarded her recognition from the American Society of Wood Engravers—only the third woman to be inducted into the society." First editions of this text are fairly uncommon, all the more so bearing an author's inscription. This copy is inscribed in Ms. Comstock's hand, "To Catherine Bard / with affectionate regards / of the Authors." Bard appeared to be a family friend or distant relation who attended Cornell. (Samantha D'Acunto, "Anna Botsford Comstock: Trailblazer in Nature Education." New York Botanical Gardens).