Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Gould, John (England 1804-1881)
ornithology, publishing, illustration

Although Gould started his career as a taxidermist, the path to his eventual fame came when in the late 1820s the Zoological Society of London, where he worked, received a collection of birds from the Himalaya Mountains. Gould had the idea of preparing a set of hand-colored lithographs from the specimens, and set himself up in business, including hiring artists to work from his sketches, to do just that. Success in this first venture set the pattern for later ones. For a period Gould moved to Australia, where he did much of his own collecting, both of mammals and birds, and these efforts, together with materials constantly being supplied to him by other naturalist travelers, eventually led to the production of a total of fifty folio volumes over his career. Gould was also the author of many scientific papers, mostly involving the descriptions of new species.

Life Chronology

--born in Lyme Regis, Dorset, England, on 14 September 1804.
--1825: moves to London; opens taxidermy shop
--1828: hired as animal preserver at the Zoological Society of London's museum
--1833: promoted to superintendent at the ornithological department of the Zoological Society
--1838: resigns as superintendent; sails for Australia and collects natural history specimens for eighteen months
--1840: returns to England
--1843: made a fellow of the Royal Society
--1848-1869: publishes his The Birds of Australia, in 7 vols.
--1849-1861: publishes his A Monograph of the Trochilidae, or Family of Humming-birds, in 5 vols.
--1850-1883: publishes his The Birds of Asia (completed by Richard B. Sharpe), in 7 vols.
--1857: travels to North America; dines with President Buchanan
--1862-1873: publishes his The Birds of Great Britain, in 5 vols.
--1875-1888: publishes his The Birds of New Guinea... (completed by Sharpe), in 5 vols.
--dies at London, England, on 3 February 1881.

For Additional Information, See:

--Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. 23 (2004).
--Dictionary of Scientific Biography, Vol. 5 (1972).
--Australian Dictionary of Biography, Vol. 1 (1966).
--The Ruling Passion of John Gould: a Biography of the British Audubon (1991).
--Trove (National Library of Australia). [online]

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Copyright 2005 by Charles H. Smith. All rights reserved.

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