Spectacle de la Nature: or Nature Display'd. Being Discourses On such Particulars of Natural History As were thought most proper To Excite the Curiosity, and Form the Minds of Youth.
Illustrated with Copper Plates. Translated from the Original Frence, By Mr. Humphreys.
The Fourth Edition, Corrected.
NoŰl-Antoine Pluche (1688 1761), known as the abbÚ Pluche, was a French priest. He is now known for his Spectacle de la Nature, a most popular work of natural history. Pluche, son of a baker, was born in Rheims, in a street now named after him. He became a teacher of rhetoric. The Bishop of Laon made him head of the town's college, a post he accepted to escape judicial consequences of opposing the papal bull Unigenitus (1713). His Spectacle de la Nature, was published in 1732, and widely translated all over Europe. Although it influenced many to become naturalists, it was a work of popularization, not of science. The work contains dialogues on insects, caterpillars, silk-worms, spiders, wasps, bees, flies, testaceous animals, birds, terestrial animals, fishes, plants, flowers, gardens, grafting, pruning, olive trees, fruits, esculents plants and roots, sallets, husbandry, corn and other grain, vines, wine, woods, pastture and meadow-grounds, rivers, fountains, ascent of vapours from the sea, mountains, the sea, the air, fossils, quarries, mines, study of the heavens, the night, the moon, the azure of the heaven, the aurora, the sun, propagation of light, ways of the light and the wonders of vision, the colours, the shade, the place and uses of fire, theory of fire, physics, invention of the zodiac, the polar star, the discovery of the roundness of the earth, invention of the globes, the Mariner's Compass, the discovery of the East and West Indies, the telescope, the microscope, systematic physics, the motion of the plants.
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