Curtis, John (1791-1862)
John Curtis was an English entomologist and botanical illustrator, born in Norwich. He learned his engraving skills in the workshop of his father, Charles Morgan Curtis. Charles Curtis died young and his widow, Frances, became a flower grower. She encouraged her son to study natural history with a local naturalist, Richard Walker (17911870). At the age of 16 he became an apprentice at a local lawyer’s office, devoted his spare time to studying and drawing insects. With insect collecting becoming a growing craze at that time, he found he could make a living selling the specimens he found. He became a friend of Simon Wilkin and decided to leave his job at the lawyers office. He began living with Wilkin at Costessey, where he undertook systematic insect studies and learned engraving.
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