Edward Blyth (1810-1873). Ojciec indyjskiej ornitologii
Edward Blyth (1810-1873) father of indian ornitology
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Edward Blyth was born on 23 December 1810. When he was a young man he took an interest with the zoology which became his life's passion. As a young naturalist he was a conscientious observer of nature and a man gifted with a superb memory. Unfortunately his career was not successful in London because of a conflict with the younger of the Gray brothers. Facing the prospect of no employment in The British Museum, Blyth decided to leave England for Calcutta where he was offered a post of a museum curator. The English naturalist spent in India in the years 1841 to 1862. During that time he greatly enriched the zoological collection of the museum and consequently the place had much more visitors. Regarding his private life he got married in 1854 to Elisabeth Mary Turner Hodges. Undoubtedly the next four year were the happiest in Blyth's life. After his wife's death Blyth's health condition deteriorated. The ongoing conflicts he kept having while the first stay in India and constant struggle to improve his financial status made him decide to return to England. Blyth left India in 1862. After coming back to his homeland he continued the naturalistic passion. Nevertheless Blyth was constantly troubled by his financial problems. Also, his health, both mental and physical, systematically deteriorated. Finally the death came on 27 December 1873, in London. Blyth tried in vain to gain the recognition and join the scientific establishment of the 19th century England. Constant lack of satisfactory income and often problems with health prevented the ornithologist to be fully devote to his passion. The aim of this article is to highlight some of the most important and interesting events of Blyth’s life. Moreover, another objective is to popularise Blyth and his work since he was one of the greatest naturalists of his time.
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