168. William J Southwood / William Pidsley 1891


Two Victorian maps of Devon are to be found in books on birds: one was issued by R H Porter for D’Urban and Mathew (see Stanford 161); the other appeared in The Birds of Devonshire by William Pidsley. This was issued in 1891 and contained a simple outline map of the county. The map shows principal towns and the rivers. Both Edystone lighthouse and Lundy have been included and the map area extends from Bude to Lyme Regis and north to Malmshead.

The book was edited by H A Macpherson MA and included an introduction by him with a short memoir on the late John Gatcombe, a local naturalist. The large but very simple map accompanying the work was signed W J Southwood, but little is known about the engraver besides various addresses in Exeter1, although he did execute a map of Exeter for a local guide book.2 Two publishers are noted on the title page: W W Gibbings had premises at 18 Bury St. WC. London; and James G Commin was a Devon bookseller at 230, High St., Exeter.3 In his preface (dated November, 1890) William Pidsley wrote: The exciting cause of this handbook must be looked for in the omission of other Devonshire Naturalists to provide a book of reference on the Ornithology of our County; an omission that may perhaps be accounted for, by the seriousness of the undertaking. However, Pidsley must have been in contact with the Reverend Mathew (who he thanks in the preface) and D’Urban, who he quotes frequently, and he must have beeen aware of their work which was to be published in 1892. The latter book is far superior to Pidsley’s: there are more illustrations; the text on the birds includes ornithological notes; while Pidsley’s is limited to bird sightings and slayings (also included by D’Urban and Mathew4).

Size: 460 x 510 mm.                                                                                                                                                  SCALE (12  = 74 mm) Miles.

DEVON. Printed for Wm E H PIDSLEY’S BIRDS OF DEVONSHIRE (Dd) with printer’s signature: W J SOUTHWOOD, LITHO. EXETER (Ae).

1.   1891   The Birds of Devonshire by William E H Pidsley ...  
    London: W W Gibbings. Exeter: J G Commin. 1891.                                         NLS, E, KB.

[1] bookhistory.blogspot.de/2012/02/exeter-1855-2000.html has William Southwood at 6 Goldsmith Street as a printer from 1884 to 1889; William J Southwood at this address in 1890 and 1891 moving to Catherine Street in 1892 and 1893; and W J Southwood and Co. in Catherine Street from 1894 to 1927.

[2] Cole's Bazaar, a shop selling toys and presents published Gardner's Guide to Exeter c.1899. The guide, with printed paper covers, has 13 photographic illustrations and a Street Map of the City .The map was printed by W J Southwood who also has an advert on the same page showing they were the Inventors, Designers & Makers of the NOVELTY BRASS WINDOW TABLET. They had premises, The Dynamo Works (Engraving and Printing) at Stephen's Bow, 11, 12 and 13 Catherine Street, Exeter.

[3] James G Commin was still advertising his services in 1930: new and second-hand bookseller - scarce, out of print books sought for free of charge - as well as offering binding of any sort and valuations for fire or probate. Kelly's Directory, p. 997.

[4] Urban and Mathew wrote on page xiii of their work: Although a work on the Birds of Devonshire has already been issued by Mr W E H Pidsley, it did not seem so thoroughly to exhaust the subject as to exclude another which should deal more fully with the numerous points of interest in the County Ornis.