First edition (1744)

BAZIN, Gilles Augustin

The natural history of bees containing an account of their production, their œconomy, their manner of making wax and honey, and the best methods for the improvement and preservation of them. Illustrated with twelve copper plates. Translated from the French.

Published: London, J. and P. Knapton and P. Vailant

Date: 1744

8vo (208 × 140 mm), pp. [16], 452, [16, index]; 12 folding engraved plates; light soiling to title-page, its edges strengthened; the first plate also strengthened with fore-edge re-margined, and a few other minor paper repairs; very good in modern morocco, gilt tooling, the spine in compartments with raised bands.

British Bee Books 96; ESTC T61240.

The work is an adaptation by Bazin of the 5th to 13th Mémoires pour servir à l’histoire des insectes by R. A. F. de Réamur, ‘The unsigned advertisement states “I have taken all the materials from the memoirs of M. de Réamur.” There is no hint in the book as to who did the translation, but it may well have been P. Vailant, who is known to have been in Paris in 1739 and may have translated from the proofs. The Vailants were a French Protestant family who settled in the Strand as foreign booksellers at the time of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes (see Plomer’s Dictionary of booksellers and printers). There is no literal translation into English of Réamur’s Mémoires, though A short history of bees (British Bee Books 162), is based on them. Both books are sometimes catalogued under Réamur.’ (British Bee Books, p. 80)

Very good