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Complete 44 volumes of the Histoire Naturelle by
Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon (1707-1788)
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The integral 1360 illustrations of the 44 volumes of the "Natural history" by Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon (1707-1788), in a facsimile reproduction. Never completely reproduced anywhere else.
You either bought an antique original edition (as we did) or you could not enjoy this oeuvre.

In the 20th century, some still debate - believe it or not - if humans evolved from apes. But during the life of Buffon, who was born in 1707 in Montbard, France, people looked at the situation differently. They didn't wonder whether humans could have evolved from apes; instead they believed that apes were simply inferior humans, degenerated children of Adam. Most, as we know, didn't question what the church told them to think. Georges Leclerc, a.k.a. Comte de Buffon, was one of the few who did. He was one of the first scientists to separate science completely from religious beliefs.

Buffon compared, what he considered the "most apelike" people, the Khoi-San from southern Africa with the orang-utan, which was considered the most humanlike ape at that time. He concluded that the Khoi-San were people and the orang-utans were apes. Of course, Buffon was not without prejudice, and he regarded people of color as inferior to whites, though he was an abolitionist, which was relatively rare for the 18th century.


(detail)

It is not the average person who questions two thousand years of dogma, but that is what Buffon did -- 100 years before Darwin. In his Histoire Naturelle, a 44 volume encyclopedia, Buffon described everything known about the natural world. Altough he believed in organic change, he was not able to provide a coherent mechanism for such changes. He thought that the environment acted directly on organisms through what he called "organic particles".

His amazingly detailed and scientific illustrations of the Histoire Naturelle struck us when we first saw them. We scanned all his 44 volumes (1360 pictures) after we bought them. You, too, can enjoy and use them now and find some awesome pix in there.

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