Page:De Vismes Kane-European Butterflies.djvu/11

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INTRODUCTION.

The object of this manual is twofold: in the first place to supply a want that has been long felt by all who have collected butterflies on the Continent; for, although there are some valuable works on the subject in various languages, yet these either comprise merely the Lepidoptera belonging to a single country or restricted area, or else are costly and only suited for the library as books of reference.

Kirby's Manual is the only English handbook of the kind; but it is very incomplete, almost devoid of illustrations, and in many ways falls short of the requirements of entomologists at the present date.

It is, therefore, thought that a comparatively inexpensive book, which can be carried in a knapsack, containing carefully written though condensed descriptions of all the European species and their varieties and aberrations, embellished with numerous facsimile illustrations from photographs of carefully identified specimens, will be welcomed equally by skilful entomologists and beginners.

Abbreviations have been rather freely used, at the risk, perhaps, of injuring the appearance of the text; but it will be found that only constantly recurring terms have been thus curtailed, and these will very soon become quite familiar to all who consult these pages.

By reducing the bulk of the volume so carefully, its