Our Insect Friends and Foes

I recently purchased a new-to-me book on entomology, "Our Insect Friends and Foes" by William Atherton DuPuy (The John C. Winston Company, 1925). It is part of a Romance of Science series of books.

I've always advocated for gardeners to learn to like insects, or at least learn enough about them so that when they see them, they don't scream, drop their Felco's and run the other direction as fast as they can. No doubt, even running the other direction, or any direction, in a garden, one is going to encounter insects... bugs... creepy crawlies...

One must get used to and appreciate insects to be a successful gardener.

This looks like a fascinating book, if you discount that it is 85 years old and remember that it lacks several decades of advances in the study of entomology. That might be good, or it might be bad, but I'm sure it will be interesting, if the first few paragraphs of the Preface are any indication.

"This is not a book on entomology, but a travelog of insect land.

It is not intended to add to the knowledge of the scientist, but to show the general reader the vastly important relationship which exists between insects and human beings.

Its purpose is not to set forth weighty information in an impressive manner, but simple facts in such a way that the story of them will be easy to read.

It is not written for the occasional student who delights in dry tomes, but for the multitude whom it would help to discover that there is romance among these small neighbors that is as enthralling as that encountered by sailors shipwrecked in an outlandish, far-away island."

Romance? Sailors ship-wrecked on an outlandish, far-away island? A travel log to insect land?

And it's illustrated!

I'll keep you posted on the good parts...


  1. Not only sounds interesting but entertaining as well. I love the cover.

  2. Sounds and looks like a fun read~I am going to look for some of these Romance of Science books for a scientist I know! gail

  3. This looks like a real treasure Carol. I love old illustrations too.

  4. I love that illustration! Have fun with this, Carol, it looks to be a good read. :-)

  5. That book was a good find wasn't it? Love the 'antique' collections. The language is as flowery as the content usually. Enjoy.

  6. This reminds me of a book I bought at a used book sale last year, Near Horizons-The Story of an Insect garden by Edwin Way Teale. Written in 1942, the story takes place in his garden that he created specifically to attract insects. The book is so well written, with amazing photographs, it's become one of my favorite gardening books :)

  7. And, it appears the insects can read. Splendid! Literate grasshoppers, God help us.~~Dee

  8. This is a GREAT post. As the wife of an entomologist, I applaud your statement that gardeners should learn to get used to insects. I admit, it's advice I need to give myself sometimes, as I am terrified of bugs to the point that it's a phobia (yes, I see the irony). However, I have learned to appreciate some insects, especially now that I have a garden and I depend on those beneficial bugs to pollinate my plants, get rid of bad insects, and just visit my garden and provide entertainment to the cat who sits by the window watching them.

    And thank you for bringing this book to my attention. I'd like to look for a copy too. I think it'll make a nice gift for the bug lover in my family.

  9. Love old garden books. Bugs, too. That illustration of the grasshopper is priceless.

  10. Can I be grossed out by slugs and hornworms so long as I don't run away and drop my felcos in the brush?

  11. Exactly the kind of midnight reading I need right now! Thanks!!!!


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