Wouldn’t these look great hanging on a wall? You can download high resolution versions of these illustrations, along with many others, from Biodiversity Heritage Library! Learn more here.
Seahorses belong to the genus Hippocampus, and there are 47 different species. The word “hippocampus” comes from Greek, “hippos” for horse and “kampos” for sea monster! The human brain and the brains of most vertebrates have a structure called the hippocampus, which is involved in memory and internal brain communication.
This part of the brain was named after the seahorse. As you can see from the next image, the brain’s hippocampus and fornix closely resemble a seahorse.
The featured illustration of a Lined Seahorse (Hippocampus erectus) is from George Perry’s Arcanae Naturae (1911), which was digitized by Smithsonian Libraries for contribution to Biodiversity Heritage Library. Learn more about seahorses from Project Seahorse and the Ocean Portal of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.
Janet Harvey Kelman (April 18, 1873 – November 15, 1957), a Scottish illustrator and author, created many children’s books about nature, including Butterflies and Moths (1910) which was part of the “Shown to the Children” book series. To date, I have not been able to locate a biography of Kelman, despite her authoring and illustrating more than 30 books according to WorldCat, but I was able to locate her family’s grave in Edinburgh, Scotland. Her brother was Rev. John Kelman (1864-1929), a United Free Church of Scotland minister who was also a published author. In 1923, Kelman published Labour in India: a study of the conditions of Indian women in modern industry based on 16 months that she spend in India funded by a Research Fellowship from Selly Oak Colleges. In addition to her natural history works, she published books about Christianity.
Rev. Theodore Wood (1862-1923) described the species for each of Kelman’s illustrations using only the common name and in a writing style meant for the juvenile reader. His father, Rev. John George Wood (1827-1889), was a popular author of Victorian natural history books.
Butterflies and Moths is written in a popular style, rather than scientific, but as an historical natural history work with intricately detailed illustrations, it contributes to a larger picture of the evolution of teaching science and how scientific understanding was communicated across large swaths of the population.
Published Works & References
- Butterflies and Moths: Shown to the Children (1910), digitized by Cornell University Library for Biodiversity Heritage Library.
- Janet Harvey Kelman in BHL.
- Janet Harvey Kelman in WorldCat.
- Janet Harvey Kelman in Internet Archive.
- Flickr album of illustrations from BHL.
- BHL Blog Post featuring artwork and quotations from Butterflies and Moths.