Schuh’s Annotated Bio-Bibliography

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BOWLES, William.

(1703 – 1780)

(Born: Cork, Ireland, 1703; Died: Spain, 1780) Irish naturalist.

Bowles studied natural history, chemistry and metallurgy in Paris. In 1752 he was appointed at the recommendation of Don Antonio de Ulloa, superintendent of the Spanish state mines and was also given the task to form a collection of natural history specimens and to fit up a chemical laboratory. To complete these tasks, Bowles travelled extensively throughout Spain, investigating its mines and natural history.

Biographical references: BBA: I 132,109, 111-114; II 1326, 229-230. Dictionary of Irish Biography. DNB: 2, 977. Waller, Dictionary of Universal Biography, 1857-63. Watt, Bibliotheca Britannica, 1824. WBI. Webb, Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878.

Introduccion, 1775

1. Spanish, 1775 [First edition].
Introduccion | A La Historia Natural, | Y A La | Geografía Física De España, | Por D. Guillermo Bowles. | [ornament] | Con Superior Permiso. | [rule] | En Madrid: En la Imprenta de D. Francisco Manuel | de Mena. | Año De 1775.

8°: [6], 48, 529, [6] p.

Rare. The author's principal work, this book is of interest to mineralogists for its early descriptions of the mines and geological features of Spain. It is described by D.N.B. as "having very considerable value as being the first work of its kind." It contains large sections on botany, geology, mineralogy and mining, including a long section on the manufacture of saltpeter. In the preparation of the this edition, the author was assisted by Jose Nicolas de Azara y Perera, Marques de Nibbiano, [1730/1-1804], who also edited the second edition (1782).

Bibliographical references: LKG: XIV 821. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 151.

2. Spanish, 1782 [2nd edition].
Introduccion | A La Historia Natural, | Y Á La | Geografía Física De España, | Por D. Guillermo Bowles. | Segunda Edicion, Corregida. | [ornament] | Con Superior Permiso. | En Madrdid: En la Imprenta Real. | Año de 1782.

4°: π4 a4 "a2"4 b-g4 h2 A-Cccc4; 326l.; [28], 1-47, [1], 1-576 p. Page size: 198 x 142 mm. Very scarce.

Contents: π1, Blank.; π2r, Title page.; π2v, Blank.; π3r-"a2"3v, "Artículos de Cartas de Don Joseph Nicolas de Azara, que servirán de Prólogo." [=4 letters dated at Rome between 7 June 1781 and 7 November 1782].; "a2"4r-b2v, "Discurso preliminar."; 1-47, Introductory text.; [1 pg], Blank.; 1-573, Text dealing largely with the natural history of Spain including mines, geological features, agriculture, etc.; 574-576, "Indice de los articulos" [=Contents].

Bibliographical references: Mengel, Catalogue of the Ellis Collection, 1972-83: 1, 193, no. 355.

3. Spanish, 1789 [3rd edition].
Introduccion | Á La Historia Natural, | Y À La | Geografía Física De España, | Por | D. Guillermo Bowles. | Tercera edicion. | [ornament] | Con Superior Permiso. | [double rule] | En Madrid: En la Imprenta Real. | Año de 1789.

8°: 12, 46, 554 p. Very scarce.

Facsimile reprint, 2003: Introducción a la historia natural y a la geografía física de España por Guillermo Bowles. Valencia, Librerías "París-Valencia", [2003]. [24], 554 p.

Bibliographical references: Reiss & Sohn, Auctioneers: cat. 71 (2000), no. 2236.

4. French, 1776 [French transl.].
Introduction a l'Histoire Naturelle et a la Géographie Physique de l'Espagne. Traduite de l'Original Espagnol par le Vicomte de Flavigny. Paris, L. Cellot & Jombart Fils, 1776.

8°: xii, 516 p.

Very scarce. Translation by the Vicomte de Flavigny.

Bibliographical references: LKG: XIV 823b.

5. German, 1778.
Einleitung in die Naturgeschichte und physikalische Erdbeschreibung von Spanien; aus dem Spanischen Originale mit Anmerkung von Prof. Dieze. Aus d. Engl. mit den üblichen Nachrichten von Bowles... Leipzig, 1778.


Very scarce. Translation by Prof. Dieze.

Bibliographical references: LKG: XIV 822a.

6. Italian, 1785.
Introduzione alla Storia naturale ed alla Geografia fisica di Spagna di G. Bowles, publ. e comm. dal Cav; D.G d'Azara. Trad. da F. Milizia. Parma, 1785.

2 vols. 8°:

Very scarce. Translation by da F. Milizia.

Bibliographical references: LKG: XIV 824c.