Willughby, Francis

Willughby, Francis

Willughby, Francis, 1635-72, English naturalist. He is known especially for his early systematic work on birds and fishes, in which he made some of the most important contributions before those of Linnaeus. He toured the Continent with John Ray, collecting material for his Ornithologia (1676, in Latin), translated into English by Ray as The Ornithology of Francis Willughby (1678). Ray also published Willughby's De Historia piscium (1686).
Francis Willughby's Book of Games is a book published in 2003 that printed for the first time a transcription of a seventeenth-century manuscript written by Francis Willughby that was held in the library of the University of Nottingham. The modern edition was edited by Jeffrey L Forgeng, Dorothy Johnston, and David Cram and was published by Ashgate Publishing Company with ISBN 1-85928-460-4. The manuscript was left incomplete when Willughby died at the age of 36, but even in its unfinished state it provides an unrivalled insight into the sports and games of his period. Among the features of the book include descriptions of card games that are otherwise only known from reference in literature. It also includes the first formal study of children's board games to be written in a European language, investigation of the original manuscript has revealed that some of the descriptions of children's game were actually written by an unknown child with later corrections being made by Willughby.

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