Facts about Thomas Bewick
Thomas Bewick Biography
Thomas Bewick was an English wood engraver who became famous in the late 18th century and is remembered for his two volume work, The History of British Birds, published between 1797 and 1804.
Bewick’s lifelong interest in birds and nature informed the engraving work he did after the age of 14, when he was first apprenticed in Newcastle.
His early works were often children’s books, but in 1790 he published A General History of Quadrapeds and became a celebrity. Bewick’s work was highly sought after for the marvelous detail and for his knowledge of the subject matter.
With his son, Robert Elliott Bewick, he published Aesop’s Fables in 1818, and continued to print revisions of his History books. At the time of his death, Bewick left behind The History of British Fishes unfinished.
Bewick’s influence among naturalists was so great, a new species fo swan was named for him shortly after his death (Cygnus bewicki).
Also named for Thomas Bewick is the Bewick’s Wren, first collected and named by his friend, John James Audubon.