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first edition

William Gould

An Account of English Ants

for A. Millar



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Finely bound scarce first-edition copy of Gould's studied treatise on Ants.

  • William Gould (English).
  • An Account of English Ants; Which Contains I. Their different Species and Mechanism. II. Their manner of Government,... III. The Production of their Eggs,... With many other curiosities...
  • London: for A. Millar, 1747.
  • (viii)109pp.(i), complete with the publisher's ads.
  • Bound in full speckled calf, ribbed gilt decorated spine, gilt lettered red morocco spine label, covers double ruled in gilt, by Period Bookbinders of Bath.

According to RBH, only three copies have ever shown up at auction in the last 50 years. A charming and at the same time quite serious effort at an entomological study. Gould, who is described on the title page as "A.M. of Exeter College, Oxon," has obviously based this treatise dealing with the five species of ants to be found in his region on long and careful observation. He gives detailed descriptions of his observations on the anatomy, life cycle, social organization and activities of ants, ending with his speculations about what purpose ants may serve in the great scheme of things (he concludes, without great profundity, that they exist to provide food for birds, especially pheasants and partridges). So far as we know, this is the first book to be entirely devoted to ants, let alone to English forms of these colonial hymenopterous creatures.


ESTC T6206.

Condition Report

Star iconVery Good
Like New

Occasional traces of minor foxing.

Marks, nicks and scratches on boards.

Pages lightly toned.


Height: 6.5 inches / 16.51 cm
Width: 4.25 inches / 10.79 cm


First Edition




Zoology, Fine bindings

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