1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Wood, John George
WOOD, JOHN GEORGE (1827–1889), English writer and lecturer on natural history, was born in London on the 21st of July 1827. He was educated at Ashbourne grammar school and Merton College, Oxford; and after he had taken his degree in 1848 he worked for two years in the anatomical museum at Christ Church under Sir Henry Acland. In 1852 he was ordained a deacon of the Church of England, became curate of the parish of St Thomas the Martyr, Oxford, and also took up the post of chaplain to the Boatmen's Floating Chapel at Oxford. He was ordained priest in 1854, and in that year gave up his curacy to devote himself for a time to literary work. In 1858 he accepted a readership at Christ Church, Newgate Street, and he was assistant-chaplain to St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, from 1856 until 1862. Between 1868 and 1876 he held the office of precentor to the Canterbury Diocesan Choral Union. After 1876 he devoted himself to the production of books and to delivering in all parts of the country lectures on zoology, which he illustrated by drawing on a black-board or on large sheets of white paper with coloured crayons. These "sketch lectures," as he called them, were very popular, and made his name widely known both in Great Britain and in the United States. In 1883–1884 he delivered the Lowell lectures at Boston. Wood was for a time editor of the Boy's Own Magazine. His most important work was a Natural History in three volumes, but he was better known by the series of books which began with Common Objects of the Sea-Shore, and which included popular monographs on shells, moths, beetles, the microscope and Common Objects of the Country. Our Garden Friends and Foes was another book which found hosts of appreciative readers. He died at Coventry on the 3rd of March 1889.