by Matthew Cobb
I spotted this drawing on Michael Bok’s Arthropoda blog. It shows Charlie Darwin riding a beetle, and a reproduction is currently on display at Down House (the original is held by Cambridge University Library).
Michael writes: “It was drawn by Darwin’s friend and classmate at Cambridge, Albert Way, in 1832. I think the drawing quite nicely speaks to Darwin’s enthusiasm for natural history, and especially beetle collecting, well before his historic voyage and academic achievements later in life.” The milestone appears to read ‘To Cambridge’.
Any coleopterophiles out there like to hazard a family-level ID?
The full page (marked by an annoying library stamp) includes another drawing of ‘Darwin on his hobby’ (a ‘hobby’ was both a pass-time and a “small or middle-sized horse; an ambling or pacing horse; a pony” (says the OED)). (In fact, hobby’ as a pass-time may be a later coinage – the online OED is unclear on this, and my OED is at home. Can any WEIT readers help?)