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Spare the Birds!George Bird Grinnell and the First Audubon Society$
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Carolyn Merchant

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300215458

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300215458.001.0001

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Biography of Alexander Wilson

Biography of Alexander Wilson

From The Audubon Magazine 2, nos. 5–12 (Jun. 1888–Jan. 1889)

Chapter:
(p.116) Chapter Eight Biography of Alexander Wilson
Source:
Spare the Birds!
Author(s):

George Bird Grinnell

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300215458.003.0008

This chapter contains Grinnell's account of the life of Audubon's predecessor, Alexander Wilson, taken from the final eight issues of The Audubon Magazine (June 1888–January 1889). Alexander Wilson has sometimes been styled the father of American ornithology, but it was not until the year 1804 that he thought seriously of studying for the task of describing and illustrating the birds of North America. Audubon, who was some fourteen years his junior, was then already dreaming of achieving distinction in the same field, and had long been devoting himself to it in amateur fashion. But in the order of publication, Wilson took precedence, bringing out his first volume in 1808, while the first five parts of Audubon's more elaborate work were not given to the public until nearly twenty years later.

Keywords:   Alexander Wilson, The Audubon Magazine, American ornithology, George Bird Grinnell, biography

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