985G Joannes Jonstonus 1603-1675

An history of the wonderful things of nature: set forth in ten severall classes. Wherein are contained I. The wonders of the heavens. II. Of the elements. III. Of meteors. IV. Of minerals. V. Of plants. VI. Of birds. VII. Of four-footed beasts. VIII. Of insects, and things wanting blood. IX. Of fishes. X. Of man. Written by Johannes Jonstonus. And now rendred into English, by a person of quality.


London: printed by John Streater, living in Well-Yard near the Hospitall of St. Bartholomew’s the Lesse, and are to be sold by the booksellers of London, 1657          SOLD

Folio ∏2 A4 (a)4 B-2X4 2Y2. First Edition Bound in full calf, original covers, rebacked with a new spine and gilt lettered label, new endpapers. Binding rubbed, covers have some scuffs and small repairs to worm damage, corners repaired, shelf wear to edges, heavy unsightly browning to 56 pages, all text Unknownlegible, (the heavy browning affects the first part of the book) the rest of text has pale age-browning and spotting, an occasional ink splash, small loss to 1 lower corner, neat ink name on endpaper, otherwise an acceptable working copy, good copy only.

The first (and only?) translation, by John Rowland, of: Jonstonus, Joannes. Thaumatographia naturalis. It is a collection of observations and references of natural marvels, retrieved from all ancient and contemporary literature, and organized by the author into a series of distinct sections. Jonston organizes the text into ten classes that describe: the heavens, the elements, meteors, minerals, plants, birds, quadrupeds, insects and bloodless animals, fish and men. The fourth on fossils and minerals is quite extensive with references to Albertus Magnus, Pliny and Theophrastus. A section within the class of plants, discusses tobacco and includes early references to nature in America.
Some of the subjects covered include : Creation of the World; Stars, Planets, Heavens, Sun, Moon, New Stars; Fires in the Waters, Fires under the Earth; Minerall Baths, Navigation in the Sea, Salt of the Sea, Miracles of some Countries, Mountains; Earth-Quakes, Dew Manner and Honey, Rainbow; Loadstone,The fourth class describing minerals, stones and fossils occupies pages 91-126, Jewels found in the Bodies of Living Creatures, Gold, Silver, Emeralds, Topaz; Plants: Tobacco, Vine, Palm-Trees etc; Birds: Eagle, Hawkes, Owls, etc; Animals: Elephants, Horse, Crocodile, Bear, Unicorn, Divers Serpents, Camel, Beaver etc; Silk-Worms, Bees, Spanish Fly, Glo-Worms Locusts, Oysters, Pearls, Scorpions, Tarantula etc; Whale, Pike, Sea-Serpents, Salmon, Sword-Fish etc; Gyants, Pigmies, Monstrous Births, Walkers in the Night, Dreams, the Wonderful Strength and Agility of some People etc. MORE …..An Appendix follows the Eighth Classis: Wherein there is contained the observation of Andreas Libavius, a most famous Physitian, concerning SILK-WORMS, a singular History, Anno 1599, at Rotenburgh.


Wing J1017; Gibson, R.W. Francis Bacon,; 453; NLM 17th cent.,; 6272; ESTC (RLIN),; R001444;Ward & Carozzi, Geology Emerging, 1984: no. 1221.