Mykolas Girdvainis (1841–1925). Autobiografija
This book presents the scientific biography of Mykolas Kazimieras Girdvainis (Michał Kazimierz Girdwoyń, 1841 in Vilnius – 1924 in Išlynos), an undeservedly forgotten scientist, naturalist, entomologist and ichthyologist, based on his Autobiography the scientist wrote in 1917–1918. The copy of Autobiography, now being preserved in Vilnius University Library, was made on the initiative of Antanas Kaributas Skinderis (1869–1948), pastor at Stulgiai. M. Girdvainis was a military engineer and resigned from the Russian military service when uprising against tsarist Russia began. Then he devoted himself to biology, acquiring knowledge in Bohemia, England, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland etc. He left more than 20 scientifc works and acquired fame in the scientific community with his monographies A Honey Bee’s Anatomy and The Pathology of Fish, both illustrated by his own drawings and translated into a few languages. M. Girdvainis belonged to many foreign scientific societies, was keen in fishery progress and highly experienced both in biological and technical aspects of it. Based on his projects approximately 300 fishery farms were founded. Autobiography by M. Girdvainis, who spent great part of his life in Išlynos manor (western Lithuania), reflects the shifts in perception of his own identity during the reestablishment of the independent states of Lithuania and Poland. It also discloses the geography of the author’s scientific travels and studies. The connections with people of science (Émile Blanchard, Henri Milne-Edwards, Richard Owen etc.), culture and literature (Aleksander Borejko, Chodźko, Józef Ignacy Kraszewski, Henryk Sienkiewicz etc.), that are captured in this work, allow us to perceive the trends of scientific communication between Lithuania and Western Europe in the second half of the 19th century.