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Allium cyathophorum var. farreri, described by Stearn

William T. Stearn (16 April 1911 – 9 May 2001) was a British botanist. Born in Cambridge, he was largely self-educated. He was head librarian at the Royal Horticultural Society's Lindley Library in London from 1933 to 1952, and then moved to the Natural History Museum where he was a scientific officer in the botany department until 1976. After retirement, he became the president of the Linnean Society and taught botany at Cambridge University. He is known for his work in botanical taxonomy, history, and illustration, and for his studies of the Swedish scientist Carl Linnaeus. Stearn is the author of Botanical Latin, as well as the Dictionary of Plant Names for Gardeners, a popular guide to the scientific names of plants. He is considered one of the most eminent British botanists of his time. An essay prize in his name from the Society for the History of Natural History is awarded each year. (Full article...)

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Anthropomorphic illustration by Jean Ignace Isidore Gérard

Jean Ignace Isidore Gérard (1803–1847) was a French illustrator and caricaturist who published under the pseudonym of Jean-Jacques Grandville or J. J. Grandville. He has been called "the first star of French caricature's great age", and Grandville's book illustrations described as featuring "elements of the symbolic, dreamlike, and incongruous, and they retain a sense of social commentary". The anthropomorphic vegetables and zoomorphic figures that populated his cartoons anticipated and influenced the work of generations of cartoonists and illustrators including John Tenniel, Gustave Doré, Félicien Rops, and Walt Disney. He has also been called a "proto-surrealist" and was greatly admired by André Breton and others in the Surrealist movement. This illustration by Grandville is plate 52 from a 1854 collection of hand-coloured lithographs titled Les métamorphoses du jour (The Metamorphoses of the Day), and depicts five anthropomorphic male dogs following a female dog, all dressed in human clothing. The print is captioned "Temps de canicule", meaning 'heatwave weather' but incorporating a pun in French; canicule literally translates to 'dog days of summer' and may also refer here to animals being 'in heat'.

Illustration credit: Jean Ignace Isidore Gérard; restored by Adam Cuerden

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