An Exquisite Legacy

George Gibbs

$60

In stock

The biography of one of New Zealand’s greatest naturalist-artists, G. V.Hudson. George Hudson, 1867-1946, was one of New Zealand’s pioneer naturalists, who devoted his life to collecting and describing the New Zealand insect fauna. He amassed what is probably the largest collection of New Zealand insects, now housed at Te Papa. Hudson also wrote seven books on insect fauna between 1898 and 1946, each illustrated in colour with immaculate paintings of the specimens, a total of over 3100 paintings, mainly focused on months and butterflies.

An Exquisite Legacy is a biography of Hudson, written by his grandson Dr George Gibbs, himself a prominent entomologist. Gibbs outlines the life of this naturalist and artist, whose dedication and output was truly remarkable. Hudson remained an amateur naturalist his whole life, but his contribution to our knowledge about the New Zealand insect world is of enduring significance, while his artistic legacy, built up over nearly seven decades, is truly remarkable. This extensive collection of exquisite illustrations is without parallel in New Zealand.

Beautifully illustrated throughout, this biography of George Hudson is the first chance for most people to see his exquisite artwork. Up until now, his books have been valuable collectors’ items unavailable to most people. A foreword by Courtney Johnston, Chief Executive of Te Papa Tongarewa, provided in recognition of the importance of this book, and the significance of the Hudson Collection at Te Papa.

Dr George Gibbs has published four books on New Zealand insects, numerous scientific papers, and the now classic volume on New Zealand biogeography, Ghosts of Gondwana (Potton & Burton, 2006, revised and expanded in 2016).

$60

In stock

ISBN – 9781988550176
Format – Hardback
Publication Date – 01/02/2020
Categories – Our Environment

more titles

George Gibbs
Ghosts of Gondwana The History of Life in New Zealand
Ghosts of Gondwana The History of Life in New Zealand

Have you ever wondered why New Zealand’s plants and animals are so different from those in other countries? Why kakapo is the only parrot in the world that cannot fly, or why the kiwi lives here and nowhere else? New Zealand is an extraordinary place, unique on earth, and the remarkable story of how and why life evolved here is the subject of Ghosts of Gondwana. The challenge of explaining New Zealand’s natural origins is picked up in this fully revised edition of the popular award-winning book. It presents the latest scientific research in highly readable form, highlighting studies that reveal the deep historical background of our landscapes, fauna and flora – from ancient frogs and moa to delicate insects and the magnificent southern beech forests. It introduces the latest discoveries and resolves past issues like the ‘Oligocene drowning’ hypothesis. Exciting fossil discoveries are revealed and new scientific technologies and approaches to the discipline of historical biogeography are discussed – approaches that range from undersea geology to molecular clocks – and it inevitably draws attention to the debates and conflicts that distinguish different schools of opinion in this holistic branch of theoretical science. This revision incorporates the results of 10 years of intensive scientific research and includes four entirely new chapters to: focus on ‘yesterday’s maps’ to draw attention to the ephemeral islands in our history that have possibly acted as stepping stones for terrestrial animals and plants but today have sunk into the sea; incorporate the author’s own special interest in an ancient group of ‘jaw-moths’, unknown and unnoticed by most people but with a strong message that New Zealand is part of the world when it comes to explaining where our fauna have come from; present recent research findings on our huge flightless birds, the ratites; and include New Zealand’s terrestrial molluscs into the story. Ghosts of Gondwana identifies New Zealand as one of the most challenging places on earth to explain, but it’s readable, engaging style and revised illustrations render this often-controversial discipline of science into a format that is accessible to any reader with an interest in natural history and the unique environment of New Zealand.

$60

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