Slate reviews Bill Schutt's forthcoming book Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History. Guardian review here. Schutt is a Research Associate in Vertebrate Zoology and Mammalogy at the American Museum of Natural History. [more inside]
On the Nature of Things Humanity Was Not Meant to Know: Cosma Shalizi considers Lucretius' De Rerum Natura ('On the Nature of Things') as a "real-life Necronomicon, a book full of things humanity was not meant to know."
"We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. " - Henry Beston, naturalist and writer. [more inside]
"...we see on the ground a number of spots of light, scattered irregularly, some large, some small..."
The Nature of Light and Color in the Open Air "Moreover, this book is written for all those who love Nature; for the young people going out into the wide world and gathering together round the camp-fire; for the painter who admires but does not understand the light and colour of the landscape; for those living in the country; for all who delight in travelling; and also for town-dwellers, for whom, even in the noise and clamour of our dark streets, the manifestations of Nature remain." - Marcel Minnaert [more inside]
Ice:A Victorian Romance, is an exhibition of fifty-five rare books and journals, with lovely illustrations. [more inside]
In 1918, at the age of 20, Oregonian Opal Whiteley published "The Fairyland Around Us" (contains full text & pictures), a nature book for children. Two years later, her diary (also contains full text and pictures) was published and became one of the best-selling books in the world. She died in a British mental hospital in 1992. More.
Weathering the Weather: The Origins of Atmospheric Science A "glorious selection" of strikingly beautiful pages from classic publications about meteorology. [via plep].
Marvels of Things Created and Miraculous Aspects of Things Existing An "immensely popular" medieval Islamic natural history text (with simurghs, yew trees, constellations and much more). Found at the Islamic Medical Manuscripts collection, which has more great visuals in the Medical Monographs section.