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2013 Spring E-Newsletter

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Loe Books
Spring 2013

 
 
 
 Competition
Which of the monograph titles was the only one to be published by Collins in paperback form?
 
First correct answer will receive 10 clear archival sleeves to fit monograph or main series dust jackets - your choice!
 







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WHAT NOW?

When our collectors near completion of the main series the conversation over the phone often leads to the question "what now?", to which we regularly reply....

 

WHAT ABOUT THE MONOGRAPHS?

 

Many would agree that the joy is in the collecting, not in the completing.

 

So to the monographs for those who have completed the main series and want to embark on collecting a set that is finite.

 

The monograph series, while popular, was not a great commercial success largely due to the specialist nature of the books concerned. These were, as their title suggests, books on single species or subjects - Badger, Redstart, Hawfinch, Rabbit, Trout, Mole etc. Twenty-two monographs were published, ten of which were on birds; with the final title, The mole appearing in 1971.

From the collector's perspective the monographs wear some of the Ellises' finest jackets.

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monograph shelf

 

New Naturalist  Monograph Credo

 

The credo to the monographs is slightly different from the main series and begins 'the aim of THE NEW NATURALIST SERIES...' and is then supplemented with an explanation of the differences between the main series and the monographs:

 

"The volumes in the main series deal with large groups of animals and plants, with the natural history of particular areas of habitats in Britain, and with certain special subjects. THE NEW NATURALIST MONOGRAPHS, on the other hand, cover, in greater detail, a single species or a group of species.  In both the main series and monographs the animals and plants are described in relation to their homes and habitats and are portrayed in their full beauty with the help of colour and monochrome photographs."

 

Most of this supplement is also appended to the credo appearing in no. 40  
Bumblebees in the main series, providing further evidence of the original intention to include this title with the monographs. 
In the main series the NN credo is always positioned below the list of editors but it is reversed for the monograph series where it is always above the editors.
 
The New Naturalist Spirit

Ernest Neal the author of the first monograph, The Badger, epitomises the defining spirit of the New Naturalist - an amateur naturalist investigating the ecology of an animal and presenting his findings in an honest and readily assimilable manner, supported with pioneering photography (the frontispiece was the first colour photograph of a wild badger).  Reviewers at the time also noted and commended Neal's enthusiasm and warmth. Brian Vesey-Fitzgerald, author of NN no. 2 British Game, wrote in The Field 'His book is warm and full of life.  He has not made the mistake common to modern scientists of believing that truth to be truth must be frigid. "Cold facts" is a favourite catch-phrase of the scientist. How pleasant to have the facts with some warmth for a change! How much more Human!' (And can I be as bold as to suggest that modern NN authors and their editors take note?)

 

Monograph Ranking

The monographs are generally rarer than the main series. The rarest of all is The Hawfinch - in any of its guises, though the green-jacketed variant is the rarest by a long chalk (we have just acquired a fine copy). Second is Mumps, Measles and Mosaics, but it has become much easier to find in the last few years. The first edition of Fleas, Flukes and Cuckoos finds its way into third place, but in point of fact, has a smaller print run than both of the above. Flying into equal fourth are The Wren and The Fulmar, with The Heron perched in sixth place. Birds of the London Area sits in seventh. Lords and Ladies follows in eighth position, with first edition Oysters in ninth, followed by Ants at number ten. The Greenshank is at eleventh with The Rabbit holed-up in twelfth, and we need go no lower than that, but it's worth pointing out that The Redstart is a considerably rarer bird than its price belies.

 


The Monographs: Rarity

Ranking

Title

1

The Hawfinch (any variant)

2

Mumps, Measles, & Mosaics

3

Fleas, Flukes Cuckoos

4

The Wren

4

The Fulmar

6

The Heron

7

Birds of the London Area

8

Lords and Ladies

9

Oysters

10

Ants

11

The Greenshank

12

The Rabbit


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dvd cover
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mono shelf
Ted Ellis
A Year on Camera
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