Arber, Agnes | Water Plants. A Study of Aquatic Angiosperms.
On Reserve. First edition, first impression of this attractive and well-illustrated volume.
Botanist and historian of science Agnes Arber (1879-1960) began her scientific career as a research assistant in the laboratory of Ethel Sargent, who greatly influenced her research style and became a life-long friend. Arber earned her first degree at University College London, which had admitted women students since 1878, and then completed a second at Newnham College, Cambridge, earning two Firsts in her Tripos examination, though women were still not considered full members of the student body and were not awarded degrees. From Sargent and her other tutors she learned the new style of botany which “introduced an experimental approach to plant study, including plant morphology and physiology, rather than relying on the former systematic approach” (Ogilvie, Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science).
In 1903 Arber published her first paper and became a lecturer at University College London. She relinquished this position when she married a fellow botanist in 1909 but, rather than giving up her career, established a home laboratory and continued publishing. “Her major study, Monocotyledons: A Morphological Study (1925) was followed by a study of grasses and cereals (The Graminae)... Arber was made a fellow of the Linnean Society in 1908. She also began research in the history of herbals, publishing in 1912 her study of Renaissance and early modern herbals (later enlarged and republished), which became the classic in that field” (BDWS). She also wrote about Goethe’s botany and Nehemiah Grew, and later in life published two volumes on the philosophy of science.
...With a Frontispiece and One Hundred and Seventy-One Text-Figures. Cambridge: at the University Press, 1920.
Octavo. Original green cloth, titles and Art Nouveau floral design to upper board blocked in dark green. Frontispiece, 171 line drawings within the text. Contemporary ownership signature of N. W. Gilbert to the front pastedown, brown mark from a previous ownership sticker on the front free endpaper. A few small bumps, cloth a little rubbed at the extremities, some spotting to the edges of the text block slightly affecting the margins in some places, single spot to the title. A very good copy.