Gerald was a keen and observant student of natural history, but the value of his observations is lessened by credulity and inability to distinguish fact from legend. He gives a vivid and accurate description of the last colony of the European Beaver in Wales on the River Teifi, but spoils it by repeating the legend that beavers castrate themselves to avoid danger. Likewise he gives a good description of an Osprey fishing, but adds the mythical detail that the bird has one webbed foot. His description of Irish wildlife was harshly called "worthless"; the better view perhaps is that despite its faults it gives a valuable glimpse of Irish fauna in the 1180s. Certainly there are valuable details: while the European Kingfisher is now common in Ireland, Gerald states clearly that it was not found in Ireland in his time: on the other hand the European Dipper, which he had evidently not seen before, was very common.
Read more about this topic: Gerald Of Wales
Other articles related to "natural history, natural":
... (1987) The Butterflies of Costa Rica and their Natural History ... (1997) The Butterflies of Costa Rica and their Natural History ... (Nymphalidae, Morphinae) implications for classification and natural history ...
... The term "natural history" alone, or sometimes together with archeology, forms the name of many national, regional and local natural history societies that ... these societies in Britain include the Natural History Society of Northumbria founded in 1829, British Entomological and Natural History Society founded in 1872, Birmingham Natural ... The growth of natural history societies was also spurred due to the growth of British colonies in tropical regions with numerous new species to be discovered ...
... His love of natural history was noted by the Dartmouth faculty, who gave him a letter of introduction to study under the well-known Harvard professor Louis Agassiz ... It was during this time that Bickmore began to visualize founding a Museum of Natural History in New York City, as the European museums of natural history were in political and monetary capitals ...
Famous quotes containing the words history and/or natural:
“The history of work has been, in part, the history of the workers body. Production depended on what the body could accomplish with strength and skill. Techniques that improve output have been driven by a general desire to decrease the pain of labor as well as by employers intentions to escape dependency upon that knowledge which only the sentient laboring body could provide.”
—Shoshana Zuboff (b. 1951)
“Poetry is the most direct and simple means of expressing oneself in words: the most primitive nations have poetry, but only quite well developed civilizations can produce good prose. So dont think of poetry as a perverse and unnatural way of distorting ordinary prose statements: prose is a much less natural way of speaking than poetry is. If you listen to small children, and to the amount of chanting and singsong in their speech, youll see what I mean.”
—Northrop Frye (19121991)