Born at Ludgate Hill on 19 April 1814, he was son of Thomas Reeve, draper and mercer, by his wife Fanny Lovell. After attending school at Stockwell, he was apprenticed at the age of 13 to Mr. Graham, a local grocer. The chance purchase of some shells led to a lifelong interest in conchology. In 1833 he attended the meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science at Cambridge. At the end of his apprenticeship Reeve paid a visit to Paris, where he read a paper on the classification of mollusca before the Academy of Sciences. On his return to London he set to work on his first book, Conchologia Systematica (2 vols. London, 1841–2).
From 1842, he traded as a natural history dealer. Using profits made by the sale of Dutch official Van Ryder's collection from the Moluccas, which he purchased at Rotterdam, and with the help of friends, he opened a shop in King William Street, Strand.
He was elected a fellow of the Linnean Society in 1846 and of the Geological Society in 1853, and he was honorary member of foreign scientific societies. From 1850 to 1856 he was editor and proprietor of the Literary Gazette. Around 1848 he moved to Henrietta Street, Covent Garden; and though he subsequently lived elsewhere around London, he returned to live at his place of business in 1864.
Reeve died at Covent Garden, 18 November 1865, and was buried at West Norwood Cemetery
Read more about this topic: Lovell Augustus Reeve
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