The Feminin' Monarchi', Or the History of Bees: by Charles Butler, 1634, London
Aside from being
considered the greatest of the early British bee books, this work is
also a book that reflects the idiosyncrasies and diffuse enthusiasms
of its clergyman author.
One of these enthusiasms
was music, a subject Butler wrote a book about in 1626. In the first
edition of his book on bees (1623), he attempted to describe the piping
of the queen bee at swarming time in musical notation. In this 1634
edition, this has been expanded into a 4-part madrigal printed inversely
on the upper and lower halves of two adjoining pages so that singers
facing each other two by two could each sing their part holding the
book between them.
Another of Butler's
enthusiasms was the reform of English grammar by the use of a system
of phonetic spelling, a practice that he used throughout this edition
of The Feminine Monarchie.