London: R. K. Burt & Co., 1878. First Edition. Wrappers. Sole edition of this detailed survey of sightings of the white Beluga whale, beginning in the 1860s. Demy 8vo (215 x 139mm): 16 pp. Original pale yellow wrappers printed in black. Blind bookseller's stamp to lower cover (Willing & Co., 366 Gray's Inn Road), which is lightly dust-soiled and edge-nicked. A collectible survival. Near Fine+. Item #BB2603
Lee was appointed a director of the Royal Aquarium, in Brighton, in 1872, where a female beluga whale, captured near Labrador, was exhibited for three days, before it died and was autopsied. His account includes a natural history of Beluga whales and references to historic sources going back to Guillaume Rondelet, the French sixteenth naturalist. Unsurprisingly, no mention is made of Moby Dick, since Melville's creation was, of course, an albino sperm whale, not a Beluga. N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, carefully preserved in archival, removable mylar sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. (Fine Editions Ltd is a member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and we subscribe to its codes of ethics.).