The Book of Nature; Or, The History of Insects
Table xx, Head of a male bee, London: C.G. Seyffert, 1758.
These extraordinary engravings of insects were one of the greatest achievements of early microscopy, and provided Darwin with a model for his own researches. This copy belonged to Darwin himself.
For Swammerdam, 'nature is utterly inexhaustible'; as God’s creation, a bee or a frog is as wonderful as a human being. Although Darwin ultimately rejected a belief in a divine creator, his empirical approach to natural history was deeply influenced by predecessors like Swammerdam.
Cambridge University Library