Level 3 Mortlock Wing State Library of South Australia North Terrace Adelaide SA 5000

A Synopsis of the Birds of Australia and Adjacent Islands by John Gould 1837-1838

This is an original edition of John Gould's first venture into the study of Australian birds featuring artwork and lithography by Elizabeth Gould. It contains seventy three hand-coloured lithographic plates showing mainly the heads of more than 160 Australian birds.

Goulds Synopsis 1

A Synopsis of the Birds of Australia was published between January 1837 and April 1838. It was issued in 4 Parts with 73 plates in imperial octavo size (209 mm x 292mm) - one of the few Gould publications not in the larger imperial folio size (559mm x 406mm). It shows the heads of nearly 170 birds many from specimens sent by Elizabeth Gould's brothers Stephen and Charles Coxen who had settled in Australia. The artwork, lithography and hand colouring are by Elizabeth Gould.

In his Prospectus Gould states "he... contemplates visiting Australia, New Zealand etc. for the space of two years, in order to investigate and study the natural history of those countries." This gives early advice of John Gould's intention to Australia and promotion for the subsequent publication of The Birds of Australia.

Part1 was issued in January 1837, Part 2 in March 1837 and Parts 3 and 4 in April 1838

RGSSA 598.0994 1837-1838

Gould's Synopsis - Aegialitis
Gould's Synopsis - Himantopus