Born on March 14, 1844, in London, Arthur William Edgar O'Shaughnessy earned his living in the Natural History Department of the British Museum, which he joined as a junior assistant in the Department of Printed Books in June 1861. He eventually became a valued expert on reptiles. O'Shaughnessy published four volumes of poetry, in 1870, 1872, 1874, and posthumously in 1881.

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