Early Bird Books

We grew up with Roberts Bird Book in the house. First edition, but about the sixth impression. It still had its dust jacket with the kingfishers and bee-eaters beautifully depicted on it. Mom and Dad still have it – I took this pic at their home in Pietermaritzburg. We also had a newer McLachlan & Liversidge edition of ‘Roberts.’

Here’s the plate I turned to in eager anticipation after hearing a wonderful and startling nocturnal call while camping in the dennebos with Stephen Charles Reed:


Another bird book on the shelf at 95 Stuart Street. This one you collected cigarette cards. Keep smoking till you have the complete set!

ROBERTS, Austin | Our South African Birds
Johannesburg and Cape Town, United Tobaccos Cos, Westminster Tobacco, Policansky Bros 1941; hbk, 25×21 cm, 106pp, colour illus with 150 cigarette cards and five colour frontisp.

Later this beauty arrived. Published in 1961 we got it some years later:

Bloody insects have got into it now!


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