S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Brooks, Mr Henry (geography)

Born: Date not known, Place not known.
Died: Date not known, Place not known.

Henry Brooks lived in Natal for many years. While residing at Wartburg he wrote a book about the colony entitled Natal: A history and description of the colony, including its natural features, productions, industrial condition and prospects (London 1876). The book was edited for publication by Robert J. Mann*, formerly superintendent of education of Natal, who was living in England at the time. It included notes on the geographical position and character of the colony; its geology (pp. 25-58); climate, including monthly rainfall, monthly mean temperature and mean atmospheric pressure for the period 1858-1867 (pp. 59-105); wild animals (pp. 106-165); indigenous vegetable products, including a list of 120 fern species (pp. 166-190); early and recent history; and the rise of Zulu power. It was illustrated with coloured lithographs of flowers and shrubs based on the author's own paintings, which show him to have been a competent naturalist and artist. It also included a map of the colony and a chart of Durban harbour and surroundings. A second edition, with Brooks and R.J. Mann as authors, was published in 1895.

Brooks also published an article, "A world of wonder, or, a visit to the planet Venus" in the Natal Magazine in 1880.

List of sources:
Brooks, H. Natal: A history and description of the colony.... London: L. Reeve, 1876.

Hall, A.L. A bibliography of South African geology to the end of 1920. Pretoria: Geological Survey, Memoir No. 18, 1922.

Mendelssohn, S. South African bibliography. London, 1910.

South African bibliography to the year 1925. London: Mansell, 1979.

Compiled by: C. Plug