Comprising Figures and Descriptions of Upwards of One Hundred New, Singular, and Beautiful Species; Together with some that are of Importance in Medicine, Domestic Economy, &c.
Apart from occasional excursions in England and Wales, Edward Donovan (1768–1837) never left London.
His Insects of New Holland is based on specimens collected by Joseph Banks and the astronomer William Bayly on the second and third voyages of James Cook, specimens in the collection of entomologist Dru Drury, and other private collections as well as his own museum. It is the first publication dealing exclusively with the insects of Australia.
For An Epitome of the Natural History of the Insects of China he obtained specimens and information from George Macartney a British envoy to China.
The source of the specimens in Insects of India is less clear.
Donovan personally undertook all steps of the illustration process for his books, the drawing, the etching and engraving and the handcolouring.