HBF Event


On behalf of …

October 8, 2012


Press Release


Maxine Lutz



“The Curious Mister Catesby” is topic of Verdier House Dinner & A Lecture



Just a year after Beaufort was founded in 1711, an unheralded Englishman named Mark Catesby arrived in America obsessed with the discovery and description of the little-unknown flora and fauna of the Colonies. “The Curious Mister Catesby,” the story of his explorations in the New World, is the topic of Dinner & A Lecture at the Verdier House, 801 Bay Street, October 22nd at 5:30 p.m.


On his second trip in 1722-ten years before the birth of George Washington and a century before the better-known nature artist John James Audubon

arrived- he set sail on a four-year excursion to the Lowcountry to record its native habitat. He traveled under the auspices of London’s Royal Society. He explored the southeast colonies and the Bahamas, and spent the subsequent 20 years writing and illustrating his exhaustive two-volume “Natural History of Carolina, Florida and The Bahama Islands,” the first illustrated work detailing the plants, insects and birds he found here. He produced 160 copies for the first edition; about 80 copies still exist intact.


“The Curious Mister Catesby” was produced and directed by Cynthia Neal, a leading filmmaker of the natural world in the U.S. One of the most striking aspects of the film is the use of a photographic technique in which the birds and animals fade into the pages of the book and vice versa. The film started life as the project of David Elliott of Kiawah Island and the Catesby Commemorative Trust which is celebrating Catesby’s third century with a symposium of international scholars meeting in Charleston November 8

– 9. In addition to lectures by leading authorities, participants will have the opportunity to take field trips to private natural areas and to view second and third editions of Catesby’s famous work. Go to www.catesbytrust.org for a complete schedule of the symposium.


“Dinner and a Lecture” is open to HBF members and non-members; the lecture series features a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception, 5:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. The program is 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. followed by audience questions. Admission to the lecture is $15/$25 per member/member couple respectively, and $20/$30 per non-member/non-member couple respectively. Seating is limited; call 379-3331 to make reservations. A three-course dinner at Saltus River Grill is offered at $19 per person for attendees at the lecture. Call Saltus River Grill at

379-3474 directly to make dining reservations.


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