The United Kingdom leg of The Curious Mister Catesby book tour is approaching quickly.   We are very pleased to know the US delegation numbers are impressive and, when combined with the many Catesby followers and friends in UK, attendance at the events is expected to be outstanding. 

Sunday, May 17, Mark Catesby will be remembered in evening prayers at 4pm at St. Giles Cripplegate, London. This was Catesby’s parish church for many years and where his four children were baptized.  Following the service there will be an informal cakes and tea reception in this beautiful medieval church.

Tuesday, May 19, at the esteemed Linnean Society of London, activities begin with tea at 5:30 followed by our Co-Editor Charles Nelson’s presentation at 6pm.  After Nelson, Catesby Trust Patron Sir Ghillean Prance will make his first address of the tour.  We all are excited to hear Sir Ghillean’s remarks and share the evening with this remarkable scholar and Catesby authority. 

Several book authors plan to attend this event and will join Nelson and Prance in a Q&A.  Among those are Kay Etheridge, Florence Pieters, Diana and Mike Preston.  They also will be available for a book signing and wine reception from 7 to 8pm.  This full and rewarding evening will be a celebration of The Curious Mister Catesby in London.  Seating is limited.  Reservations through Linnean Society, please.

Friday, May 22, The Gainsborough’s House of Sudbury, Suffolk, hosts the final stop of our most successful book tour.  And what an exciting evening this promises with special exhibits gathered from Catesby’s home locale and times.  Speakers will be Sir Ghillean Prance and Charles Nelson.  Authors Henrietta McBurney Ryan and Valerie Herbert plan to attend and join with David Elliott, Nelson and Prance in a Q&A session.  If the weather is good, there will be a reception in the garden and, of course, time for visiting and book signing.  For reservations, contact Liz Cooper,

The Catesby Trust is delighted to anticipate full houses at these events.  Don’t delay making reservations. 

For the many who have attended one of The Curious Mister Catesby book tour events, you will have seen and been awed by the stunning facsimile edition of Catesby’s Natural History. The edition has been presented by our dear friends, Nigel and Julia Frith, on behalf of Addison Publications. 

If you’ve missed seeing the facsimile, it will be presented again at the upcoming UK book tour stops or you may learn more at the Addison Publications web site.

With an exclusive print run of just 60 copies, the magic of Catesby’s Natural History has been painstakingly recreated and the last 20 copies are presented in four volumes together with Catesby’s own fascinating descriptions of each image. Hand-printed, craft-bound and finished with intricate gold leaf tooling, these luxurious leather volumes are produced by craft binderies based in Yorkshire and Oxfordshire.

The first facsimile edition of The Natural History is now housed at Windsor Castle as part of the Royal Collection.

Addison Publications also bound the highly-regarded special edition of The Curious Mister Catesby. Iain Bain, retired Director of Publications for the Tate Gallery, designed our special edition.  Addison covered it in handsome green gilt leather and Calligrapher, Joyce Gordon of Oxford, Ohio, added the dedication to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.


We simply cannot resist sharing parts of Robert Salvo’s extensive book review of The Curious Mister Catesby for the Charleston Mercury newspaper.  It is particularly thoughtful and insightful.  We are deeply appreciative of Mr. Salvo’s understanding of the book and the Charleston Mercury’s continued support and attention.


The Curious Mister Catesby” manages to approach its subject in a manner both wide and deep by approaching naturalist Mark Catesby in the manner of an anthology.  Both general readers and those well versed in topics covered will find the volume enjoyable and enlightening.  Each of the book’s 22 chapters has a different author, each with a peerless background to discuss Mr. Catesby in his or her own area of expertise.

“The Curious Mister Catesby” is beautifully illustrated, exhaustively researched and lovingly compiled.  It is a must-have for libraries of natural history, those interested in the world of the early 18th-century South and lovers of wildlife art in general.

Chapters are vivid and distinct, each scene working together to produce a satisfying whole. 

This work draws the once-mysterious Catesby out of the shadows and, fittingly, displays him in vibrant living color. “


Along with the excellent review, the Mercury announced its sponsorship of a The Curious Mister Catesby book signing event. 

We all are invited to join the Mercury on June 4, 5-7pm, at the Preservation Society at the corner of King and Queen Streets, Charleston, SC.

For complete event details, Mr. Salvo’s entire review and other topics of interest, please visit our friends at






"I have a copy and have just finished reading it for the first time. Book is very impressive. Well organized, documented and illustrated. It should be a reference "gem" for anyone working on the early natural scientists."

George H. Perbix, Retired Executive, World Birder


"The Curious Mister Catesby will stand for many years as the best critical analysis of his work, and of the groundbreaking natural science that his curiosity inspired."

Linda Lear, reviewed for NATURE, Naturalist, Author


“The Curious Mister Catesby” is a beautifully illustrated, fascinating look at a formative period in America’s history, and it’s bound to appeal to readers who appreciate the art as well as the science behind Catesby’s work.

Doug Childers, reviewed for The Richmond Times-Dispatch.


The Curious Mister Catesby book tour will conclude our USA engagements with the much anticipated evening at San Francisco’s California Academy of Sciences.  The event is Thursday, April 30th, at 5pm. 

For reservations, contact Nicole Clark at

Should you not have been able to attend any of the preceding book tour events, this will be the last prior to leaving for the UK and, certainly, this one is well worth traveling to attend.

The evening, which has been organized by Catesby Trust Board of Trustee’s Secretary Charles Berolzheimer, promises to be extraordinary; beginning with beautifully curated exhibits of Catesby etchings, along with a display of examples of Catesby’s species collections and, perhaps, several of the early editions of Catesby’s books.  Dr. Charles Nelson, Co-Editor, will lead the evening with an incredibly well-informed lecture based on his original Catesby research.  Catesby Trust Executive Director and Co-Editor David Elliott will follow with his insightful lecture and slide show.  There will be a time set aside for Q&A by the speakers as well as other Catesby’s experts attending the program.  You also may want to have your copy of The Curious Mister Catesby signed by one or several of the editors and authors who are expected to be participating in the event.  Books will be available for purchase at the event.

A special feature of our exceptional California book tour appearance is the opportunity to join in the California Academy of Sciences NIGHTLIFE program.  A regular event, NIGHTLIFE attracts a large audience of interested museum-goers to spend the evening touring and learning of the many features of this outstanding natural science facility.  Tonight our Catesby exhibits will be among the offering for guests.  Tickets are available through the CAS and include an open bar and entertainment. 

We continue to be so very grateful for the many favorable comments and reviews of The Curious Mister Catesby.  We are delighted to share comments published by AMAZON on their web site. 

The Curious Mister Catesby is an absorbing blend of early colonial history in the American Southeast and the Bahamas, with the rich fauna and flora the settlers freshly contained. Catesby emerges as one of the first true naturalists of the New World.”—E. O. Wilson, University Professor Emeritus of Entomology, Harvard University

“Mark Catesby, the English naturalist and artist, as well as his considerable accomplishments, is given new life in this well-written, multi-authored account. Emphasis is placed on Catesby’s travels in North America that led to his monumental volumes on the flora and fauna of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahamas. The book is an important addition to the library of the history of the natural history of colonial America.”—William D. Anderson Jr., Professor of Marine Biology, Grice Marine Biological Laboratory, College of Charleston

"A landmark book filled with introspective and concise essays, each developed with a richness of detail, revealing the absorbing portrait of a self-taught artist from Suffolk who had an insatiable curiosity about nature. Wonderfully readable, this classic is an engaging introduction to Catesby's timeless illustrations and to his keen observation of the natural world. Like an investigation by forensic scientists the contemplative and thorough scholarship of these authors reveals new insight into Catesby, his journeys, his peers, and the inexhaustible pursuit of botanical and zoological specimens in an eighteenth-century world."—Marian Hill, former president of the Garden Club of America

"The naturalist Catesby has been unfairly under represented. . . . He receives his due in this volume with essays by 26 authorities, primarily American and English academics, plus 238 color illustrations. . . . This work contains new material on the pioneering naturalist and artist and is thoroughly referenced with chapter notes and an extensive bibliography. Appendixes list all of Catesby’s paintings with modern scientific and common names for all plants and animals. This work of scholarships is a joy to behold. It will interest naturalists, art historians, and American historians." —Library Journal  



We’re on the road again following The Curious Mister Catesby book tour to Mark Catesby’s familiar territory – Charleston SC, Friday, April 24.  Charles Nelson and Leslie Overstreet will present to the Charleston Library Society, the South’s oldest cultural institution, beginning at 6p.  You are invited!  Simply call for a reservation.  We are pleased that David Elliott and contributing author, Mark Simpson will join in for a Q&A session and book signing.  Books will be available for purchase should you not have yours just yet!

The final east coast stop on our tour prior to heading to the west is Wednesday, April 29, in Decatur, GA, at the DeKalb County Public Library’s GA Center for the Book.  Charles Nelson will be the principal speaker to what promises to be a large and enthusiastic crowd of Catesby’s fans.  Our Executive Director, David Elliott, will present following Dr. Nelson.  Between these two speakers, expect to be entertained as both have such vast knowledge of Catesby’s life and work.  The Q&A should be most interesting! 

What truly excellent news from Amazon we have to share with you!  Amazon has awarded The Curious Mister Catesby with 5 Stars, that is FIVE stars. They go on to call it the #1 new release in U.S. colonial period history and #1 natural history release of the year.  “A book of timeless value.”  And, as if that weren’t exciting enough, Amazon then turned around and made the book one of their very select few available to “Look Inside!”  To understand how big this really is, please visit Amazon and read the review.  That sound you hear? – it’s buttons bursting. 

This week our Catesby Road Show welcomes friends to events at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, and at the Grolier Club in NYC.  We anticipate with great excitement the stops to be made in Cincinnati, Ohio; Richmond, VA and Kiawah Island, SC. 

Sunday afternoon, April 19 at the Cincinnati Museum Center Auditorium promises to be one of the highlights of the entire tour.  Top notch planning has gone into filling each of the 300 places available to hear Charles Nelson and Leslie Overstreet speak and to have books signed by various authors attending.  We especially are pleased to have Trustee Hardy Eshbaugh in attendance. His remarkable participation and leadership have contributed enormously to the success of The Curious Mister Catesby.  

Moving to Richmond’s Wilton House Museum for Tuesday, April 21st, where Charles Nelson and Leslie Overstreet will present to the group.  An outdoor reception in the Museum’s fabulous and historic garden area will be a special treat on this spring afternoon. The Wilton also will have their magnificent collection of Catesby etchings available for viewing. 

Moving down the eastern seaboard, Thursday, April 23, will be spent with Kiawah Island, SC, property owners at The Sandcastle Center.  Books will be available for purchase and signing by various of the authors attending. Speakers will include David Elliott, Charles Nelson and Leslie Overstreet. Laura Vardell will exhibit a number of pieces from her collection of Catesby etchings.  As part of Kiawah Island Community Association’s “Our World” program, refreshments will be served and a Q & A period will be provided in this stunning ocean side venue. 

The entire team of contributors to The Curious Mister Catesby continues to be overjoyed by the stream of favorable reviews and messages that are being received.  Here are a few from the last several days:


Dr. John Kotz, retired Professor of Chemistry and Author.

WOW! Congratulations on a wonderful achievement! I received the Catesby book this afternoon and have turned every page.  The book will serve as a basic reference work to Catesby’s work for years to come.”

Henry T. Armistead, Reviewer. Formerly of Free Library of Philadelphia

“This work of scholarships is a joy to behold.  It will interest naturalists, art historians, and American historians.”

Michael and Diana Preston, historians and authors, London, UK

“By far the most beautiful book we’ve ever been associated with!”

Shauneen Hutchinson, editor Naturally Kiawah, Kiawah Conservancy

“This book is a rare combination.  It is masterfully edited, informative and educational but at the same time stunningly elegant and beautifully composed.”






Cherry blossoms and the first stop on The Curious Mister Catesby book tour are making for a big April show in Washington DC !  Esteemed scholar & Co-Editor, Charles Nelson, from the UK and world -renowned Catesby expert, Leslie Overstreet, Curator of Smithsonian Natural History Rare Books, will kick off our international book tour on April 14.  The much-anticipated affair will take place at the beautiful Baird Auditorium at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History beginning at 5:30p. Following the Nelson and Overstreet presentations, there will be Q&A with our speakers and other Catesby experts involved with the creation of the book.  To top it off, a book signing opportunity and time to mix and mingle with Catesby friends from far and wide will conclude the evening.  The event is free and open to all. 

The second book tour stop is the elegant Grolier Club in NYC on Friday, April 17 beginning at 6p.  Reservations are a must! Contact Jan Stanley in our Charleston office at  Attendance will be limited to 150 guests who will hear presentations by Ms Overstreet and Dr. Nelson. Several of the book’s contributing authors will be available for a Q&A period and there will be time for a book signing and greetings. This promises to be a capacity-attended, marquee event of the tour.  We encourage early reservations.  

In case you can’t attend either of these events, there are other stops to include in your plans.  In days to come, check back here for event details, but mark your calendars now.

19 April – Cincinnati, Ohio

21 April  – Richmond, VA

23 April – Kiawah Island, SC

24 April – Charleston, SC

29 April – Decatur (Atlanta), GA

30 April – San Francisco, CA

19 May – London, UK

21May – Sudbury, UK


Early comments and reviews have begun arriving! We are humbled, a bit giddy and certainly thrilled! Please take just a moment to share in the excitement:

From Robert M Peck, Senior Fellow, Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Drexel University

"The Curious Mr. Catesby is beautifully designed and produced and filled with important and interesting scholarship. Congratulations! Well done! I have been savoring it ever since my copy arrived a few weeks ago. The modest Mr. Catesby probably would be surprised by such a substantive volume on his accomplishments, but no doubt very proud!"

From our great friend and Catesby descendant, Joseph B. Cocke, Retired Engineer & Consultant of Clemson SC

“Amazing amount of new information discovered about Mark Catesby.”

From T.J. Nissen of Oxfordshire, UK
"Wow! What a beautiful, beautiful book - about an extraordinary man and a gifted artist"

***Please note: As previously announced, the book price increase will become effective this Wednesday, April 1. We’re very pleased to be able to hold the increase to only $3.00 when you purchase your book through this web site. Shipping charges and Garden Club of America prices are unchanged. 


11 March 2015

Pre Publication Book Price Held

David Elliott, Co-Editor of The Curious Mister Catesby , announced the

pre publication book price, $39.95, will be held for the remainder of March.

You may order your personal copy or several this very minute on this web site.

Don’t delay.  Regular pricing of $44.95 will commence the first of April.  No joke.

*Garden Club of America member pricing will be unchanged.


February 26, 2015

Congratulations to our Trustee, Dr. Charles Nelson! 

The Royal Horticultural Society, UK,  has awarded Dr. Nelson with the internationally prestigious Veitch Memorial Medal in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the advancement of the science and practice of horticulture.  The Veitch Memorial Medal, instituted in 1870, is regarded as being among the highest accolades in horticulture.  The Catesby Trust is honored to be associated with Dr. Nelson and benefits greatly from his expertise and prowess as Co-Editor of The Curious Mister Catesby, a “truly ingenious” naturalist explores new worlds. 

February 5, 2015

Catesby Trust President, Jane Waring, announced the election of two new Trustees to our Board.

Cynthia P. Neal and Charles Nelson were unanimously welcomed to the Board of Trustees at the February 5 annual meeting.  Complete biographies of the Trustees, along with photographs, are available in the “ABOUT US” section of this web site.  Ms Neal, who has been associated closely with the Trust since the inception, served as Producer/Director of the documentary, The Curious Mister Catesby.  Dr. Nelson currently is the much-esteemed Co-Editor of our book, The Curious Mister Catesby, a “truly ingenious” naturalist explores new worlds. 

President Waring also announced Sylvia W. Bacon has been named by the Board to fill the new position of Artistic Director to the Trust.  Mrs. Bacon has provided critical and continued support and direction to the Trust in all matters aesthetic.  Her biography and photograph can be found on our “ABOUT US” section of this web site.

Please Welcome Professor Sir Ghillean Prance FRS, VMH

We are pleased to announce that Professor Sir Ghillean Prance FRS, VMH has accepted appointment as Patron of the Catesby Commemorative Trust. Sir Ghillean was a keynote speaker at the Tercentennial and is author of a chapter in our book. Please see “Those Involved” for his biographical information.

Catesby Commemorative Trust Adds to Board of Directors

We are pleased to announce that both Thomas Schreck (Portola Valley, California) and Herbert E. Fitzgerald, III (Richmond, Virginia) have recently accepted our invitation to join the Catesby Commemorative Trust Board of Directors. Please see the “Those Involved” tab for photos and biographical information.

Visit the summer exhibition “An Introduction to Mark Catesby” at the Petersburg Public Library.

For Information see:

On June 25th, the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art of Yale University in London is hosting a seminar entitled “Catesby – 1 object 3 voices”. The speakers are our authors Henrietta McBurney, Leslie Overstreet, and Charles Jarvis. Reservations are essential, so contact Ella Fleming at if you are interested in attending or want more information.

The Smithsonian Libraries unveils Once There Were Billions: Vanished Birds of North America at the National Museum of Natural History on June 24. This exhibition is a joint production of Smithsonian Libraries, Biodiversity Heritage Library, and the National Museum of Natural History. Take a look at the link and you’ll see Catesby’s illustrations of the Passenger Pigeon and the Heath Hen.


Thursday, 5th June 2014, 6.30pm for 7.00pm, Graham Kerr Building, University of Glasgow.

The author, Charles Nelson, will deliver a lecture “Home and abroad with the nineteenth century Scottish naturalist John Scouler of Kilbarchan”

John Scouler (c1804-1871) made a remarkable two-year journey to Northwest America discovering plants and animals while travelling through the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to his destination, the Columbia River. His companion was the Glasgow botanist David Douglas where they discovered many plants new to science. Scouler then went to India, adding to his collections which helped found the Andersonian Museum in Glasgow. When not travelling he was Professor at Anderson’s College and in Dublin. His work contributed to anthropology, natural history and geology – truly a “man of parts”. The illustrated lecture will describe his adventures and legacy to natural science.

Dr E. Charles Nelson, FLS. After a PhD in Australia Charles returned to his native Ireland in 1975, to take up the position of horticultural taxonomist at the Irish National Botanic Gardens, Dublin. He is the author or editor of over 20 books and more than 150 research papers, most recently a prize-wining book on heathers. Since 1996 he has lived in England and worked as a freelance botanist, author and editor, and is currently acting as editor for the Catesby Commemorative Trust’s intended book The curious Mister Catesby – A Naturalist Explores New Worlds. In May 2013, he received the Society for the History of Natural History’s Founders’ Medal.

Exhibits relating to The Andersonian Museum from the Zoology Museum and Glasgow Museums herbarium can be viewed in The Hunterian (Zoology Museum) where refreshments will be served.

Catesby Exhibit – Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden & Library

The Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden & Library in Richmond, Virginia is currently displaying a collection of exceptional facsimiles of Mark Catesby’s original watercolors. The originals are at Windsor Castle, and it has been 17 years since there has even been a selection of these prints in the US. The complete set has never been here, so don’t miss your opportunity to see this exhibit which is on display now through June 1st. For more information, please call 804.262.9887 Ext. 240 or see

Merian Symposium

The Artis Library (Special Collections of the University of Amsterdam) will host a three day symposium entitled Exploring Maria Sibylla Merian on May 26-28, 2014. Speakers will include three authors of chapters in our forthcoming book The curious Mister Catesby: a “truly ingenious” naturalist explores new worlds – Kay Etheridge (Professor of Biology at Gettysburg College), Leslie K. Overstreet (Curator of Natural History – Rare Books, Smithsonian Libraries), and Florence F.J.M. Pieters (former Curator of the Artis Library, University of Amsterdam; presently guest researcher at Artis Library). More information on the symposium can be found at:

UGAP will publish “The Curious Mister Catesby: A ‘Truly Ingenious Naturalist’ Explores News Worlds”

The University of Georgia Press has decided enthusiastically to publish “The curious Mister Catesby: a ‘truly ingenious’ naturalist explores new worlds”. We’ve been advised that the Press’ Faculty Board, comprised of senior scholars from a variety of fields, was particularly enthusiastic about the project and impressed by the rigor of our contributors’ scholarship.