WS Macleay and the natural history circle

‘Five great circular groups in the animal kingdom’ - W.S Macleay, Horae Entomologicae

William Sharp Macleay’s natural history opus Horae Entomologicae (1819-1821) sought God’s order in nature through a system of organisation based on the affinities and analogies between organisms. This quinarian system, as it was known, was read and considered by London’s young radical naturalists in the 1820s and 1830s, amongst them the promising scholar Charles Darwin.

Image - ‘Five great circular groups in the animal kingdom’ - W.S Macleay, Horae Entomologicae: or Essays on the Annulose Animals vol 1 part II (London, 1821) page 318