In The Abolition of Man (1944), C. S. Lewis called for a “regenerate science” that would “not explain away” when it explained and “remember the whole” when it treated the parts. This introduction to natural history responds to Lewis’ call by instilling in the beginning student of biology a love for the beauty and intelligibility of the animal kingdom through the eyes of the classical naturalists. The writers whose works are presented here, including John James Audubon and Jean-Henri Fabre, were some of the greatest observational biologists of all time. They remain useful guides, for the advances in biological science that have happened since they wrote cannot invalidate our first-hand experience of organisms as unified living beings.
The Nature’s Beautiful Order set includes a text book, Student Guide and Teacher Guide.