India is fortunate in having a great range of biogeographic regions that support a vast variety of plant and animal life. Among the most interesting of these are the mighty Himalayas, its foothills, and the adjoining terai and duar grassland-forests. The flora and fauna of these areas have long fascinated explorers, scientists, writers and artists, and the literature on the subject is extensive.
This book is the fourth in the Bombay Natural History Society's popular series that aims at making accessible old writings, drawings and paintings of India's rich flora and fauna. However, unlike the earlier books (Salim Ali's India, Treasures of Indian Wildlife and Living Jewels from the Indian Jungle) which had articles on assorted subjects, here the focus of the text is on the mammals of the Himalayan region, drawing largely on the pioneering work of S.H. Prater and R.A. Sterndale. The superb paintings of Paul Barruel and O.F. Tassart specially made for Prater's work (the originals of which are in the BNHS Library archives) complement the text, along with black-and white drawings by other artists. Most of the full-page plates illustrate Himalayan birds (taken from John Gould's Birds of Asia and works by E.C. Stuart Baker and C.M. Inglis), along with some Himalayan landscapes by Major Edward Molyneux and Colonel George Strahan, and botanical paintings of Himalayan flowers by J. Forbes Royle.