Taxidermy author history
I recently acquired at auction a book on taxidermy written by a Thomas Brown. Dated 1885, it was published by Thomas C. Jack of Ludgate Hill, London. Can you tell me anything about the author?
Captain Thomas Brown first came to prominence in 1819 when he visited Paris on behalf of the University of Edinburgh to try to buy a taxidermy collection made by a Frenchman, Dufresne, who had also published a work on taxidermy. On returning to Scotland, Brown decided to publish his own book on the subject. The Taxidermist’s Manual contained substantial translated portions of Dufresne’s work. This book ran to at least 28 editions and, until the end of the 19th century, was the principal instruction book on taxidermy written in English.
It was then replaced by Montagu Browne’s Practical Taxidermy, which quickly acquired fame and went to several editions. Browne, a former commercial taxidermist, went on to work full time on the subject for Leicester Museum for more than 25 years. His experience and knowledge of the subject as an art form ensured his lasting fame and, to a great extent, eclipsed Thomas Brown. Your book is, however, a worthy addition to any collection of books on taxidermy. TJ