Immediately on the completion of his Regne Animale in 1756, Brisson set about his Ornithologie, and it is only in the last two volumes of the latter that any reference is made to the tenth edition of the Systema Naturae, in which the binomial method was introduced.
Far better both as draughtsman and as authority was George Edwards, who in 1 743 began, under the same title as Albin, a series of plates with letterpress, which was continued by the name of Gleanings in Natural History, and finished in 1760, when it had reached seven parts, forming four quarto volumes, the figures of which are nearly always quoted with approval.4 The year which saw the works of Edwards completed was still further distinguished by the appearance in France, where little had been done since Belon's days,' in six quarto volumes, of the Ornithologie of MathurinJacques Brisson - a work of very great merit so far as it goes, for as a descriptive ornithologist the author stands even now unsurpassed; but it must be said that his knowledge, according to internal evidence, was confined to books and to the external parts of birds' skins.
As minister of public instruction in the Brisson cabinet of 1898 he organized courses for adults in primary education.
In 1885-1886 he was under-secretary for war in the Henri Brisson ministry, and he served in the cabinet of Emile Loubet (1892) as minister of marine and of the colonies.
He was again minister of war in the Brisson cabinet in July 1898, when he read in the chamber a document which definitely incriminated Captain Alfred Dreyfus.