Publisher Information: Leuven: 1836-39.
Beneden, Pierre-Joseph van (1809-94). Cours de zoologie et d’anatomie comparée. Unpublished manuscript notebook in the hand of Beneden’s student Amand Proost. 530, , , pp. (irregularly numbered; last 184 pages unnumbered), plus a few inserted leaves. Louvain [Leuven], 1836-39. 192 x 161 mm. Quarter cloth, marbled boards ca. 1836, rubbed, some edgewear, tear in lower portion of spine, one leaf loose. Small piece torn from margin of pp. 77/78 with slight loss of text, edges a bit frayed, but overall good to very good. 20th century bookplate of M. A Schockaert on rear free endpaper.
Remarkably long and detailed student notebook documenting some of the first zoology and comparative anatomy courses taught by Pierre-Joseph van Beneden, a distinguished Belgian zoologist and paleontologist who made significant contributions to the biological sciences. The notebook provides unique insight into Beneden’s approach to natural history at the beginning of his career, when he had published only a handful of scientific papers. It also sheds light on the methods used for teaching the sciences in mid-19th-century Europe.
Beneden earned a medical degree at the state university in Leuven (Belgium) and studied zoology under Georges Cuvier in Paris. In 1836 he was appointed professor of zoology at Leuven’s newly founded Catholic University, where he remained until his death in 1894. He is best known for his extensive work in the field of parasitology, including his introduction of two key biological/ecological concepts: Commensalism, describing a relationship between two organisms of different species in which one organism benefits from the other without the other being affected (e.g., remoras and sharks), and mutualism, describing a relationship in which two organisms of different species each benefit from the other (e.g., flowering plants and pollinating insects). These concepts are presented in the 1875 edition of Beneden’s Mémoire sur les vers intestinaux, originally published in 1858 (see Garrison-Morton.com 10278). Beneden also published important works on fossil and living cetaceans (see Garrison-Morton.com 10291 and 10292), and in 1843 established one of the world’s first marine laboratories.
The notebook we are offering contains extensive and well-organized lecture notes—several illustrated with marginal drawings—taken by one of Beneden’s students, Amand Proost, during Beneden’s first courses on zoology and comparative anatomy at the Catholic University of Leuven (Proost, a candidate for a degree in the sciences in 1838, later taught at Antwerp’s Athenée Royal, a secondary school). The first 530 pages of Proost’s notebook, which are numbered, cover Beneden’s lectures on zoology delivered between October 1836 and February 1837. These pages are divided into seven sections, as follows (the taxonomic terms are Cuvier’s):
Pages 1-104: Introduction and general anatomy
Pages 105-98: Orders of “bimanes” (humans), “quadrumanes” (primates), “cheiroptères” (bats), “carnassiers” (carnivores that hunt live prey), and “rongeurs” (rodents)
Pages 199-277: Orders of “edentés” (edentata; obs. for xenarthra, the order containing anteaters, sloths and armadillos), “pachydermes,” “ruminants,” “cétacés” (cetaceans), “marsupiaux” (marsupials) and “monotrèmes”
Pages 283-374: Ornithology; natural history of birds
Pages 287-382: Herpetology and ichthyology
Pages 383-455: Invertebrates
Pages 455-530: Entomology; natural history of insects
The remaining 184 pages, unnumbered, cover Beneden’s course on comparative anatomy (“Cours d’anatomie comparée”) that began in the spring of 1839. The first 64 pages are devoted to Beneden’s lecture of April 14 (“No. 1”), the following 88 pages to his lecture of May 8 (“No. 2”), and the final 34 pages (“Cahier supplémentaire”) contains supplementary notes on various topics in zoology and anatomy, including remarks on the skin, sense organs, reproductive organs, animal behavior and geographical distribution.Book Id: 44628