A very interesting account of his early years, given by himself, will be found in Chapter XVII of this volume. The salaries of rural teachers and professors were extremely small in France during the last century, and Fabre, who married young, could barely support his large family. Nature study was not in the school curriculum, and it was years before he could devote more than scanty spare hours to the work. At the age of thirty-two, however, he published the first volume of his insect studies. It attracted the attention of scientists and brought him a prize from the French Institute. Other volumes were published from time to time, but some of Fabre's fellow scientists were displeased because the books were too interesting! They feared, said Fabre, "lest a page that is read without fatigue should not always be the expression of the truth." He defended himself from this extraordinary complaint in a characteristic way.