RODWAY, James. In the Guiana Forest. Studies of Nature in Relation to the Struggle for Life. London, T. Fisher Unwin, 1894.
8vo. Publisher's original green cloth, lettered and decorated in gilt to spine, boards ruled in black, top edge gilt; pp. xxiii, 242, [6, advertisements]; 15 photographic plates, including frontispiece, retaining tissue guard; cloth a little spotted; apart from offsetting from endpapers, a very good copy, printed on thick paper, without errata slip.
First edition. A general account of the natural history of British Guiana and its environment, with the application of Darwinian theories. 'Rodway was born in England in 1848, but from 1870 to his death in 1926 lived in British Guiana where he made valuable contributions to the colony’s history, literature and culture. Apart from Georgetown and his major work, A History of British Guiana from 1668 To The Present Time which appeared in two parts - Volume One in 1891, and Volume Two in 1893, he produced other writings including studies of Guyana’s hinterland in In the Guiana Forest: Studies in Nature in Relation to the Struggle for Life (1894), and the novel In Guiana Wilds: A study of Two Women (1899). Rodway also helped to establish Guyanese cultural institutions such as the Royal Agricultural and Commercial Society of which he was Assistant Secretary from 1886-1888, and the British Guiana Museum of which he was the curator in 1894-1899. In addition, he edited the influential journal Timehri (review by Frank Birbalsingh of re-issue of Rodway's History, online under www.indocaribbeanworld.com/archives/2012). Some chapters deal with ecological issues, such as The Interdependence of Plants and Animals, and Rodway, as many others, was fascinated by the wealth of phenomena found in the tropics: 'It is not merely that there do you find the struggle for existence carried on with a wild energy which none can overlook, both among plants and animals' (introduction).