Of the vulgar little mouse
This book combines four things I love:
(1) Old-timey typography
(2) Historical representations of animals
(3) Unintentionally hilarious headings
(4) A ridiculously long title:
The history of four-footed beasts and serpents: describing at large their true and lively figure, their several names, conditions, kinds, virtues (both natural and medicinal) countries of their breed, their love and hatred to mankind, and the wonderful work of God in their creation, preservation, and destruction.
AND IT GOES ON:
Interwoven with curious variety of historical narrations out of scriptures, fathers, philosophers, physicians, and poets: illustrated with divers hieroglyphicks and emblems, etc. both pleasant and profitable for students in all faculties and professions.
Whereunto is now added, the theater of insects; or, lesser living creatures: as bees, flies, caterpillars, spiders, worms, etc. A most elaborate work.
I am now thinking of re-titling Under a Bravery of Stars as:
The history of Heliotrope McAuley: not describing her appearance at large because we are in her perspective and she does not have access to mirrors, but instead illuminating her many qualities of character (both admirable and regrettable); the isolated country she inhabits and the creatures therein, some of which are not dangerous but most of which are; and the wonderful work of the omnipotent author who preserves and destroys at will and will not apologize no matter how angry her writing group gets.
Interwoven with curious variety of historical events and thematic elements, but without referencing much other than Dilworth and the Bible because Heli has not the benefit of a liberal arts education: illustrations too expensive to be commissioned.
Whereunto is now added a sequel, the theater of family dysfunction; and the appearance of lesser persons who get in Heli's way and must be defeated, avoided, or otherwise escaped. A moderately elaborate work but not on the scale of Dickens or anything.
Agents are going to love it.
Text: From the Internet Archive:
Vol 1 is largely a translation of books 1 and 5 of Gesner's Historia animalium, with additions by Topsell. The second part has title: The history of serpents. Or, The second book of living creatures... By Edward Topsell. London, Printed by E. Cotes, 1658
Vols. 2, a translation of Moffett's Insectorum... theatrum, has title: The theatre of insects: or, Lesser living creatures... By Tho. Mouffet... London, Printed by E. C., 1658