What a Wonderful World

The best $10 I ever spent!

A giant freaking squid! Oh, what amazing cross-hatching!!!
My favourite illustration in the whole book

An actor portraying royalty with fake nails
Thomas Edison producing electricity
Giant Centipede

Rhabdosphere? Haven't got a clue, maybe I'll read this section!

Leaf Insects
Not the most PC book either
Explanation of how photographs are produced
A Sponge skeleton 
Tattooed Japanese servant
Simply put, this is the best $10 I've ever spent! Worst $10 being every Showbag I've ever bought in my entire life. Again, I found "The World of Wonders" at the UWA Save the Children book sale. This amazing book was written in 1889, and not only is it filled with beautiful illustrations, it's a fantastic read and quite funny/non-PC in parts too. It even refers to tribespeople savages!

What I really love is how it explains everything from photographs to fossils in a time when the world was still filled with mystery and these amazing discoveries weren't widely known. What makes it so special is that most reference books these days are written in a neutral way, this book however, is not. You could very easily imagine an extremely English, middle-aged, pompous scholar narrating this book! Here's a funny little passage from the Tattoo section:

The practice of tattooing the skin has probably, at one time or another, been universal throughout the world. We still, however, occasionally see the school-boy disfiguring or adorning his arms and hands by rude tattooings, of which he is sufficiently proud—at least until, having arrived at years of discretion,  he sees the folly of his ways.  Our sailors too, are often tattooed with various designs symbolical of their calling. 

I know I keep harping on about it, but I can't believe I managed to find something this amazing! And for only $10! 

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