A classic work of entomology, available online in French and English

In 1879, Jean-Henri Fabre wrote a book about insects called Souvenirs entomologiques. Today it's considered a classic of entomology. An English translation, with some absolutely beautiful illustrations like the cicadas pictured above, was published in 1921.

You can read the full book online for free. Yes, both versions. The original French work is available at Gallica. Meanwhile, you can read the full English version at Google Books. Very neat!

Via Alex Wild


      1. Yes, in that book the colour plates are all “tipped in”. Used to be a common process, especially in the more lavish illustrated books.

        The Internet Archive also has Detmold’s editions of The Jungle Book and the Fables of Aesop which are well worth a look.

  1. You can read this and many other classic taxonomic works at the Biodiversity Heritage Library: http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/16283 and http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/71078

    All downloadable with very high-quality scans. Their Flickr feed makes a great screensaver, too.

  2. When Brood X was out in 2004, my not so beloved former boss was totally wigged out by them.  I had a succession of cicadas as my screensaver to make him twitch a little more. 

  3. I was blessed to grow up with a copy of Fabre’s ‘Book of Insects’ in the house. Discovered it about age 10, he became a hero / role model for life.
    Patient ongoing observation yields delicate understanding…

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