Catching Nature in the Act
Réaumur and the Practice of Natural History in the Eighteenth Century
At the center of Terrall’s study is René-Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur (1683–1757)—the definitive authority on natural history in the middle decades of the eighteenth century—and his many correspondents, assistants, and collaborators. Through a close examination of Réaumur’s publications, papers, and letters, Terrall reconstructs the working relationships among these naturalists and shows how observing, collecting, and experimenting fit into their daily lives. Essential reading for historians of science and early modern Europe, Catching Nature in the Act defines and excavates a dynamic field of francophone natural history that has been inadequately mined and understood to date.
2. "Catching Nature in the Act"
3. Seeing Again and Again: Illustration and Observation in Domestic Surroundings
4. Recruiting Observers and Training "Philosophical Eyes"
5. Natural Prodigies: Asexual Reproduction and Regeneration
6. A Spectacle Pleasing to the Mind: Natural History on Display
7. Chickens, Eggs, and the Perennial Question of the Generation of Animals