London: Paul Jerrard & Son, . First edition. The first part of the present work, Entomology in Sport, was written to draw children to science with lively illustrations and easy-to-read prose and verse. The second part, Entomology in Earnest, presents more serious and scientific information staged as a dialogue between two speakers. With a color-printed frontispiece, illustrated title, and color-printed text illustrations and initials throughout. Ward illustrated all of her other books and almost certainly the present book. Light foxing to first leaf. Browning on four pages from pieces of paper laid in some point. A very good copy of this work by astronomer and scientific illustrator Mary King Ward and her sister Jane King Mahon. Publisher’s blue cloth with lively pictorial gilt design of insects. Binding is very bright and attractive. Octavo. 68 pp. Item #17062
Mary King Ward (1827 – 1869) was an astronomer, microscopy expert, and renown scientific illustrator. In the early years of her career, Ward connected with colleagues primarily through her cousin William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse (1800 – 1867), who built the “Leviathan of Parsonstown” telescope at his estate in Ireland. Ward was one of the first people to make observations through the Leviathan, which was remarkable for having the largest aperture size of any telescope at the time. Ward released her first scientific publication, A Windfall for the Microscope, in 1856. From that point, Ward’s books quickly became popular and were praised for their accessible, easy-to-understand style and for Ward’s expert illustrations. Along with the present work, she also published Microscope Teachings (1864) and the beautifully illustrated astronomy text Telescope Teachings (1859). All of her works are scarce in commerce.
We could not find much information on Jane King Mahon (1826 – 1895). She and Ward were the only daughters of Reverend Henry King (1799 – 1857) and Harriet Lloyd. Freeman, British Natural History Books, 3881.