(Brenner, Sydney) Segrè, Gino | Ordinary Geniuses. Max Delbrück, George Gamow, and the Origins of Genomics and Big Bang Cosmology.
First edition, first printing. From the library of Nobel prize-winning biologist Sydney Brenner, with his ownership inscription to the front free endpaper, “Sydney Brenner, La Jolla, 10 Sep 2011”. With a bookmark from the La Jolla shop Warwick's loosely inserted.
Sydney Brenner (1927-2019) was a leader in the field of genetics almost from the moment he received his doctorate at Oxford in 1954. He joined Francis Crick’s laboratory in 1956, and they did groundbreaking research on how DNA is decoded by cells. Brenner proposed that the nucleotides which comprise DNA (adenine, guanine, thiamine and cytosine) are read by the cell in sets of three called codons, with each codon representing an amino acid (for example, three adenines in a row is the codon for the amino acid lysine). A gene is simply a string of codons that directs the production of a protein molecule from individual amino acids. He also correctly predicted the existence of messenger RNA, the molecule that carries the genetic code from the nucleus to the ribosomes, where the translation process occurs.
Following this work, it was Brenner’s efforts to establish a new laboratory organism for the study of genetics that led to his Nobel Prize. “Beginning in 1965, he began to lay the groundwork to make C. elegans, a small, transparent nematode, into a major model organism for genetics, neurobiology and developmental biology research. As a direct result of his original vision, this tiny worm became the first animal for which the complete cell lineage and entire neuronal wiring were known. Today, more than 1,000 investigators are studying C. elegans, and Brenner’s work was further honored when a closely related nematode was named Caenorhabditis brenneri” (Salk Institute biography).
The author of the present volume, Gino Segrè, is a physicist, the nephew of Nobel prize winner Emilio Segrè, and author of four works of popular science, including the prize-winning Faust in Copenhagen.
New York: Viking, 2011.
Octavo. Original yellow boards, red backstrip, titles to spine in black. With the dust jacket. 4 double-sided plates from photographs, a few illustrations within the text. An excellent copy in the jacket with a few small creases and bumps.
(Gould, Stephen Jay) Wilford, John Noble | The Riddle of the Dinosaur
First edition, first printing. Presentation copy inscribed by the author on the half title, “To Stephen Jay Gould, Many thanks for the inspiration of your essays. Best wishes, John Noble Wilford”.
A lovely copy of this popular account of recent developments in dinosaur palaeontology, including the discoveries that they were likely warm-blooded and that a comet probably caused their extinction, by Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist John Noble Wilford (1933 - ). Wilford was responsible for the paper’s front-page story on the Apollo 11 Moon landing in 1969, and his by-line was the only one that appeared on the front page that day. Stephen Dubner, co-author of Freakonomics, described one of the sentences in the Moon landing piece – describing Armstrong’ heart-rate during the descent to the surface – as “one of the most elegant little uses of data I can recall seeing in a news article” (Dubner, “When Data Tell the Story”, Freakonomics blog, July 21, 2009).
Recipient Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002) was one of the leading evolutionary biologists of the 20th century. His theory of punctuated equilibria challenged the idea that evolution is a slow and constant accumulation of changes, pointing out that instead it often occurs in rapid bursts of speciation followed by periods of stasis. He was a prominent defender of teaching evolution in schools and a leading critic of the field of sociobiology, which he saw as providing a pseudoscientific basis for discrimination. But he was best known as a popular science writer, penning three hundred essays that were originally published in Natural History Magazine. In 1991 Wilford reviewed Gould’s fifth essay collection, Bully for Brontosaurus, calling its contents “provocative and delightfully discursive”.
...Drawings by Douglas Henderson. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1985.
Quarto. Original grey boards, cream cloth backstrip, titles to spine and author’s name to upper board in gilt and copper. With the dust jacket. 6 colour plates, illustrations and charts within the text. An excellent copy in the jacket with just a couple of miniscule rubbed spots and faint toning along the upper edges.
(Miller, Peter L.) Longfield, Cynthia | Dragonflies of the British Isles
Second edition, enlarged, of the authoritative guide of the period. From the library of dragonfly specialist Peter L. Miller, with his ownership signature and bookplate, two manuscript notes in ink in the text, notes and sketches of dragonfly nymphs on a blank postcard, and a dragonfly wing loosely inserted.
Miller was a lecturer in zoology at Oxford who made significant contributions to a number of fields. “At Oxford he soon became widely respected for the excellence of his research on insects, being awarded the prestigious Medal of the Zoological Society of London in 1972. Until the early 1980s he explored physiology and neural control, primarily of respiration but also of rhythmic and motor behaviour, ventilation and learning. His international standing at that time is reflected in the authorship of more than a dozen chapters on these topics in different definitive textbooks on insect physiology. During those years he also published on insect behaviour in the field and edited two symposium volumes on cell biology.
From the early 1980s Miller focused his research on dragonflies, a group of insects for which he had developed a strong affection while in Uganda. His highly developed skills - for interpreting subtle elements of behaviour, for micro-anatomical dissection and for quantifying neural processes - allowed him to reveal much of the structural and behavioural framework on which dragonfly reproduction is based. This work has far-reaching comparative value and provides a definitive reference point for future contributions to the field.
Other products of his interest in dragonflies have been his stimulation and training of postgraduate students, authorship of two editions of a book on British dragonflies - a model of its genre - and active participation in the British Dragonfly Society, as Vice President and as member of the Dragonfly Conservation Group. Increasingly in later years Miller's energies were directed towards conservation of dragonflies and their habitats, especially through facilitating involvement of young people and non-specialists.” (Peter Miller obituary, the Independent, May 6, 1996.)
In this copy Miller has made two notes in the text: On page 126, under the entry for the Downy Emerald, he wrote, “2 emerged c. 25/5/58 from [?] F. B. A. Windermere”. On page 139, under the entry for the Black-lined Orthetrum, “Nymph from F. B. A. Windermere... emerged c. 25/5/58”. The most extensive notes are on a blank postcard loosely inserted at page 181. Ink manuscript notes describe the larva (nymphs) of four dragonfly species, with pencilled drawings of three. On the back of the card are additional notes about the effect of temperature on dragonfly development, including a small bar graph showing a two-year larval cycle for a species.
The author of this guide, Cynthia Longfield (1896-1989?), was one of Britain’s leading dragonfly specialist. She spent her career as an unpaid worker at the British Museum of Natural History, where she played a major role in collecting and systemising the records of British dragonflies (Ogilvie, Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science, p. 802), and she also served as president of the London Natural History Society. The Dragonflies of the the British Isles, originally published in 1939, was “accepted immediately as the authoritative guide” (Ogilvie).
London and New York: Frederick Warne & Co., Ltd., 1949.
Duodecimo. Original green cloth, titles to spine and upper board and dragonfly device in gilt to upper board, publisher’s name and borders to boards blocked in black, pictorial endpapers. With the dust jacket with dragonfly illustration pasted-on to the front. 16 colour plates, 12 double-sided black & white photographic plates, illustrations within the text. Ownership signature of Peter L. Miller to the front free endpaper, some short notes in his hand in the text, and his and his wife’s bookplate to the verso of the same. Spine rolled, cloth lightly rubbed at the extremities, a little spotting to contents, particularly the edges of the text block. A very good copy in the rubbed, spotted, and dulled jacket with small nicks and chips from the ends of the spine panel.
(Zallinger, Rudolph) Ostrom, John H. & Theodore Delevoryas | A Guide to the Rudolph Zallinger Mural The Age of Reptiles
Reissue of this illustrated visitor’s guide to the magisterial Age of Reptiles mural in the Great Hall of Yale’s Peabody Museum, written by John Ostrom, one of the most important palaeontologists of the 20th century. Originally published in 1966 in the same pamphlet form. A beautiful copy in unusually nice condition.
“The Age of Reptiles mural is an artistic masterpiece and was, for its time, perhaps the most scientifically accurate representation of the Mesozoic world ever created” (Black, “Creating the Age of Reptiles”, Smithsonian Magazine, January 3, 2012). The 110-foot-long, 16-foot-high mural was completed between 1943 and 1947 by art student Rudolph Zallinger (1919-1995), who had previously been employed at the museum painting seaweed specimens. Museum director Albert Parr had initially envisioned the space broken into panels illustrating individual species, but Zallinger developed the idea for a “sweep through time” from the Devonian period to the Cretaceous, “more than three million years of earth history” (introduction to the present).
“With the format established, Zallinger was rapidly schooled in vertebrate paleontology, paleobotany and anatomy by the museum’s experts. The animals had to be scientifically accurate, their environments appropriately stocked with plants from the right era, and the whole fossil cast had to fit together in an aesthetically pleasing style. Accuracy was of extreme importance, but so was making the painting visually appealing to visitors... The artist also faced the technical decision of how to execute the mural. Zallinger decided on a fresco secco, a classic method in which pigments are combined with egg and water and are painted on dried plaster that is moistened at the time of application. As Zallinger composed each successive rendition of the mural, the space he was going to paint on was prepared and covered in plaster. What is remarkable is how early Zallinger arrived at what became the final layout for his Mesozoic panorama. While the fine details of the plants and animals changed with each ever-more-detailed version, their general shapes and poses were established by the time Zallinger created a 1943 ‘cartoon’ version of the mural on rag paper” (Black).
The mural is one of the largest paintings in the world, and earned its creator a Pulitzer Fellowship in Art in 1949. It was highly influential in both paleontological art and in popular culture during the mid-century. A number of guides to the mural have been published over the years, including this one by John H. Ostrom (1928 - 2005). Ostrom was a Yale professor, director of the Peabody Museum, and “the most influential palaeontologist of the second half of the 20th century” (Dodson & Gingerich, “John H. Ostrom”, American Journal of Science, volume 306, number 1, January 2006). He discovered that dinosaurs had the metabolisms and agility of mammals and birds, and that they were closely related to modern birds, leading to the “dinosaur renaissance” of the second half of the century.
...in the Peabody Museum, Yale University. Discovery Supplement Number 1. New Haven, CT: Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University, 1966.
38-page pamphlet, wire-stitched. Original green wrappers printed in black. Folding plate depicting the mural and “Earth Clock”. Pencilled number to the edge of the upper wrapper. A fine copy.
Aikin, John | The Calendar of Nature
Third edition of this charming little book on the changing of the seasons from month to month by the “physician and man of letters” John Aiken (1747-1822) (Hahn, The Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature).
Aiken charming combines practical knowledge of nature and gardening with literary references. For April he writes: “This month gives the most perfect image of Spring; for its vicissitudes of warm gleams of sunshine, and gentle showers, have the most wonderful effects in hastening that universal springing of the vegetable tribes, from whence the season derives its appellation. April generally begins with raw unpleasant weather, the influence of the equinoctial storms still in some degree prevailing, Its opening is thus described in a poem of Mr. Warton’s: ‘Mindful of disaster past, And thinking of the northern blast, The fleety storm returning still, The morning hoar; the evening chill; Reluctant comes the timid Spring...’ Early in the month, that welcome guest and harbinger of Summer, the swallow, returns. The kind first seen, is the chimney, or house, swallow, known by its long forked tail, and red breast. At first, here and there, only one appears, glancing quick by us, as if scarcely able to endure the cold. ‘The swallow for a moment seen, Skims in haste the village green’.”
A very nice copy in an attractive contemporary tree calf binding. With the ownership inscription and notes of a woman, Eliza Davenport, who obtained this copy in 1810. Davenport’s short pencilled notes at the rear of the volume relate to a handful of observations of flowering plants and other phenomena.
...Designed for the Instruction and Entertainment of Young Persons. The Third Edition. London: Joseph Johnson, 1787.
Duodecimo (155 x 95mm). Contemporary tree calf, spine gilt in compartments, marbled endpapers. 1810 ownership inscription to the verso of the front free endpaper, pencilled notes of a similar date to the verso of the rear blank. Binding lightly rubbed at the extremities, the corner of B6 torn, not affecting the text, light spotting to the contents. Very good condition.
Armstrong, C. C. [Mary Ann] | New Zealand Ferns
A rare, sixteen-page album of artistically arrayed and scientifically labeled New Zealand ferns by the award-winning botanical artist and entrepreneur Mary Ann Armstrong, known commercially as “Mrs. C. C. Armstrong” (1838-1910). This is a nice example of Armstrong’s work, which is notable for its elegant presentation, including the use of symmetry and sweeping arcs, and the ingenious placement of moss to “ground” the specimens. Each page is an artwork unto itself, usually featuring between three and six large fronds accompanied by carefully chosen smaller samples, all given scientific labels in a large and neat hand. The ferns in this volume are generally in excellent condition, clearly professional prepared and maintaining their fine details and sense of vitality.
Historian Molly Duggins, of the National Art School, Sydney, has done important work on Armstrong, providing a deep understanding of her work within the contexts of the international fern trade and the economic and cultural landscape of colonialism. She explains that, beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, a craze for ferns swept Britain and its colonies, providing “a form of popular rational amusement that was intimately linked to scientific progress and colonisation” and that “held special significance for the colonies where the plethora of local species became a symbol of proto-nationalistic pride” (Duggins, “Mary Ann Armstrong”, Design & Art Australia Online, 2011).
In New Zealand and Australia ferns became a major commercial industry encompassing both living plants and artistically arranged pressed specimens. “Few women, however, engaged in the New Zealand fern industry as a significant and sustained business venture. The fern work produced by Mary Ann Armstrong is distinctive in this regard” (Duggins, “The world’s fernery: New Zealand, fern albums, and nineteenth-century fern fever”, New Zealand’s Empire, p. 108).
Armstrong was born in Birmingham and emigrated to Australia in 1853. Five years later she married Charles Clark Armstrong and in the early 1860s the couple moved to Dunedin, but Charles’s business ventures fared poorly and it may be that Mary, who was developing a serious interest in ferns, began selling pressed specimens to supplement the family’s income (in total there would be eleven children to feed).
“Active from roughly the late 1870s to the 1890s, her body of work revolves around the artistic arrangement and scientific notation of ferns in albums and framed compositions, sometimes composed into decorative, collage-like landscapes”. (Dugins, “Mary Ann Armstrong”). Though they don’t feature in this particular album, she frequently incorporated photographs of the New Zealand landscape and the indigenous Maori, depicting an exoticised New Zealand “cloaked under the mantle of romantic botanical tourism” (Duggins, “The world’s fernery”, p. 113).
In addition to albums, Armstrong produced ferns mounted on postcards and paper goods with fern transfers, supplying them to local booksellers and fancy goods shops. Other family members were involved in this extensive enterprise; when Armstrong and her husband moved to Melbourne in 1887 her son Charles remained in Dunedin, where he worked as a “scenic photographer and fern artist”. He imported ferns and fern products to Australia, and also supplied them to his mother, whose business remained active until the mid 1890s (Duggins, “Mary Ann Armstrong”).
Though Armstrong’s work stemmed from the 19th-century culture of domestic botanical art, Duggins argues that it is, “distinct from this feminine tradition in that it was displayed alongside the work of men at a series of international and intercolonial exhibitions from 1879-89... Moreover, her work was unabashedly commercial: unlike the domestic arts which were largely created and displayed within the home, Mary Ann marketed and sold her fern compositions to the general public. As an entrepreneur, she relied upon the reputation she established through her commendable exhibition record”. And “rather than wholly succumbing to decoration, a majority of Mary Ann’s compositions retained a strong scientific element that was firmly grounded in the systematic notation of each specimen. The classificatory fluctuation of her entries from horticulture to fancy goods at international exhibitions reflects this duality, indicating that her compositions straddled the divide between art and science.” (Duggins, “Mary Ann Armstrong”)
Armstrong’s albums are rare in commerce, appearing at auction only three times in recent decades (Dominic Winter in 2011 and 2008, and Christies in 2008). Institutionally, they are mainly represented in Australasian institutions: the National Library of New Zealand, the Universities of Wellington and Waikato, the National Library of Australia, and the State Libraries of New South Wales and Victoria. Examples are also held at Harvard, the University of Georgia, and UCLA.
Dunedin, NZ, [late 1870s or 1880s].
Tall quarto (370 x 280mm). Original green cloth, upper board blocked in gilt and black. The contents comprise approximately 56 fern specimens mounted on the rectos of 16 card leaves with scientific names in manuscript, the leaves bound in on linen stubs. Maker’s ticket to the front pastedown. Some wear and small bumps, and spots and marks to the binding, contents toned. 4 of the specimens are loose or have a small piece that has come loose, but are still retained, one specimen is lacking a frond. Very good condition.
Augusta, Joseph, Greta Hort, & Zdeněk Burian | Prehistoric Animals
First English language edition, first impression of this vibrantly illustrated work, originally published in Prague under the title Tiere der Urzeit in the same year. Rare in the dust jacket in such nice condition.
Between the 1930s and 1960s “the foremost painter of dinosaur restorations was Zdeněk Burian (1905-1981). His canvasses were used to illustrate a number of popular books on prehistoric life by Joseph Augusta, and in the late 1950s and 1960s these were translated into English and widely circulated. So the Burian illustrations offered an alternative to those of Zallinger [responsible for the Peabody Museum mural], or of the late Charles Knight. But there was not much of a difference. Apatosaurus and Diplodocus stand quietly by their respective swamps, accompanied by partially submerged relatives. A T. rex besets a pair of Trachodon, but none of the three lifts a leg off the ground, or even seems to be moving at all” (Ashworth, Paper Dinosaurs 48). Though his dinosaurs are no longer considered anatomically accurate, Burian was highly respected in his time and his paintings were widely reproduced and copied, often without acknowledgement. In 2017 the first dinosaur discovered in the Czech Republic was named in his and Augusta’s honour, Burianosaurus augustai.
The author of the text, Joseph Augusta (1903-1968) was a palaeontologist at Charles University in Prague between 1933 and 1968, and is best known for his role as a science populariser. He published around twenty books on science for the general public and served as an advisor to the hit 1955 film Journey to the Beginning of Time (Cesta do Pravěku), which combined human actors with stop-motion special effects.
The translator of the book, Greta Hort (1903-1967), was born in Copenhagen, the daughter of Vilhelm Hjort, astronomer royal. She earned her PhD at Newnham College, Cambridge and then became a research fellow at Girton College, publishing on mysticism and religious thought. In 1938 Hort was appointed principal of University Women's College (later University College) at the University of Melbourne. She was later made chair of English literature at Aarhus University, Denmark (Australian Dictionary of Biography).
...Illustrated under the direction of the author by Zdeněk Burian. Translated by Dr. Greta Hort. London: Spring Books, .
Folio. Original buff, heavy-grain cloth, titles to spine and Stegosaurus design to upper board in brown. With the dust jacket. 60 lithographic plates of which 31 are in colour. Lower corner of the binding knocked, which has also slightly creased the corner of the text block and the jacket, spine rolled. A very good copy in the bright jacket that is lightly rubbed at the extremities with a few nicks and short closed splits.
Cadbury, Deborah | The Dinosaur Hunters
First edition, first impression of this well-received popular history of the discovery and scientific documentation of dinosaur fossils in Britain during the early 19th century, notable for its emphasis on the work of Mary Anning in addition to that of Gideon Mantell, William Buckland, and Richard Owen. Though Anning’s work as a fossil collector has been well-known to specialists and historians since the Victorian Era, this volume was an early part of the revival of popular interest in her life which began in 1999 at the 200th anniversary of her birth, and which has continued in recent years with novels and films, as well as an initiative to place a statue of her in Lyme Regis.
...A Story of Scientific Rivalry and the Discovery of the Prehistoric World. London: Fourth Estate, 2000.
Octavo. Original brown boards, titles to spine gilt, green endpapers. With the dust jacket. Illustrations throughout the text. Very slight indentation at the head of spine and shallow bump tot edge of the upper board, light spotting to the top edge of the text block. An excellent copy with the jacket, of which the lower edges of the inner flaps are slightly curled from being in a jacket protector.
Chapman, C. H. Murray | Dragons at Home
First and only edition of this rare children’s book describing a fanciful tour through prehistory led by talking dinosaurs. A lovely copy in the scarce jacket. WorldCat locates only eleven institutional copies, and none appear in recent auction records.
Dragons at Home was published posthumously following the death of author C. H. Murray Chapman (1892-1918), who studied geology at the University of Manchester. “His fascination with geology and astronomy was a constant source of inspiration to him and he contributed to several journals and wrote a book on pre-historic animals which he hoped to publish. Unfortunately, he struggled academically and left Manchester University in 1912.” (University of Manchester Roll of Honour biography). Chapman enlisted in the Royal Navy in 1914 and was commissioned to the Royal Naval Air Service for pilot training in 1915. He endured with good humour a series of accidents, including one that broke his jaw, and apparently “relished the opportunity it gave to write vivid accounts of the sensations of crashing to earth”. Chapman died in February 1918 when his plane was involved in a mid-air collision during an escort flight. His wife, Olive Murray Chapman, later became a well-known adventurer and author, and it was she was was responsible for the publication of Dragons at Home.
The plot of the book follows four English children who, in a nod to Peter Pan, are spirited away to prehistoric times by a friendly Pterodactyl named Ptero who “casually picks up with them at the Natural History Museum” (preface). The tour begins in the Jurassic, where they meet a Stegosaurus and are introduced to him as “four young animals from the Holocene”. A series of gentle adventures follow, in which the group traverse the geological ages and speak with creatures such as a Diplodocus, Brontosaurus, Archaeopteryx, Triceratops, Iguanadons, and Plesiosaurs, and eventually find themselves in the Eocene, where they encounter early mammals – the Mastodon and Deinotherium – followed by the Ice Age mammoth and Irish deer.
Though much of the text is taken up with dialogue, Chapman’s prose is witty and engaging, and it’s clear that he had a talent for describing nature. He writes of Ptero presenting “a lizardy grin. It was funny to see him smile. His grin seemed to meet at the back of his head, and all his sharp teeth showed white” and describes the Pterodactyl’s skin as “so funny... like a piece of warm, shrivelled-up gutta-percha, very light and squashy”. Later, formations in a cave are likened to “upset ice-creams” and the waves of a calm sea “crept onto the shore, and tumbled over each other with a faint murmur, as if they did not dare break the stillness of this hot day”.
...Illustrated by the Author. London: Wells Gardner, Darton & Co. Ltd., .
Octavo. Original blue cloth blocked in orange with the image of a triceratops on the spine and a stegosaurus on the upper board, publisher’s device in blind on the lower board. With the dust jacket replicating the design on the binding. Frontispiece and 12 engravings within the text, 1 plate from a photograph of the author. Gift inscription dated Christmas 1924 to the front free endpaper. Spine rolled, just a little rubbing at the extremities but otherwise the cloth fresh and bright, small spot of dampstain and minor abrasion to the top edge of the text block, endpapers partially tanned, light spotting to contents and edges of text block. A very good copy in the rubbed and lightly spotted jacket with a short split and streak of dampstain to the lower panel and slight loss at the corners.
Emiliani, Cesare | Ancient Temperatures
- Offprint of an early popular article on ancient climate by one of the founders of the field, Cesare Emiliani (1922-1995).
During the late 1950s Emiliani studied the tests (shells) of marine amoebas called foraminifera that are found in samples taken from the floors of the deep oceans. He realised that the oxygen isotope composition of the tests was influenced by atmospheric conditions at the time they were alive and that the deep-sea cores could be used to chart climate going back millions of years. This work laid the foundations for modern analysis of past climates. It also established that the ice ages were a cyclic phenomena; contributed to our understanding ocean floor spreading and plate tectonics; and provided influential support for the hypothesis of Milutin Milanković that climate changes in the deep past had been driven by long-term alterations in the Earth’s orbit and geology. Emiliani remained a leading figure in the study of Earth’s climate history through the 1990s, and was awarded both the Vega Medal and the Alexander Aggasiz Medal.
...Reprinted from Scientific American, February 1958. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman and Company, 1958.
12 page pamphlet, stapled. Illustrations throughout. Very faintly toned at the extreme edges of the spine and wrappers. A superb copy.
Farlow, James O. & M. K. Brett-Surman, editors | The Complete Dinosaur
First edition, first printing. A beautiful copy of one of the most scholarly and best-selling of the dinosaur encyclopedias published during the "dinomania" of the 1990s.
The Complete Dinosaur, copiously illustrated and accessible to both professional and popular audiences, contains forty-three essays by leading geologists and palaeontologists on dinosaur physiology, behaviour, and evolution; the history of palaeontology around the world; and the appearance of dinosaurs in popular culture. The Quarterly Review of Biology described it as “the most readable and interesting book on many aspects of dinosaurs that I know” in which “even the dinosaurian veteran will find novel insights and perspectives”. They cite in particular the chapters on the history of dinosaur studies as “the most comprehensive and historiographically integrated treatment of the subject to date” as well as “Mary Higby Schweitzer’s thoughtful and rational review on how we study the biomolecular resides in fossil organisms, the ‘dialogue’ on dinosaur extinction between a gradualist (Peter Dodson) and a catastrophist (Dale A. Russell), and R. E. H. Reid’s powerful and comprehensive treatment of dinosaurian physiology” (The Quarterly Review of Biology vol. 73, no. 4, December 1998).
Still in print, a second, revised and expanded, edition was published to much acclaim in 2012.
Bloomington & Indianapolis, IN: Indiana University Press, 1997.
Tall quarto. Original grey cloth, titles to spine and T-rex design to upper board in black, yellow endpapers embossed with patterns of dinosaur scales. With the dust jacket. 8 double-sided colour plates, greyscale illustrations throughout the text. Just a single tiny crease at the edge of the dust jacket. An exceptional copy.
Feynman, Richard | "Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman!"
First edition, first printing and a beautiful copy in excellent condition. The orange dust jackets and boards of this book are notoriously prone to fading, but this one is remarkably bright and attractive.
Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman is one of the most popular scientific memoirs of all time. In a series of humorous short stories the famous physicist describes his childhood and developing interest in science, his college education and time on the Manhattan Project, and his career at Cornell and Caltech. Among the memorable episodes are Feynman's description of an anatomical chart as a "map of the cat", his safe cracking escapades at Los Alamos, the tragic death of his first wife, and his exasperated reaction to winning the Nobel Prize. More troublingly, Feynman writes about sexist behaviours such as adopting the behaviours of an aggressive pick-up artist, and using strip clubs as informal offices.
- Adventures of a Curious Character, as told to Ralph Leighton. Edited by Edward Hutchings. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1985. Octavo. Original red cloth backed boards, titles to spine gilt. With the dust jacket. Spine slightly cracked between the front free endpaper and the half title. An excellent copy in the bright jacket with just a few minor nicks at the top edges.
Fuller, R. Buckminster | Nine Chains to the Moon
First edition, first printing of the author’s first book. Presentation copy with a warm and lengthy inscription from the author to fellow architect Robert George Cerny (1908-1985), dated November 22, 1959. Fuller begins, “To Bob Cerny, with whom it has been my privilege and pleasure to work on the emergent....”. Unfortunately, the combination of Fuller’s messy handwriting and unique vocabulary and syntax make it difficult to grasp the full meaning of the inscription, and it’s unclear how the two knew each other.
Nine Chains to the Moon is a collection of forty-four essays on various topics in the history of science and technology, many of them exploring progressive design and the concept Fuller called “ephemeralization”, or doing more with less, which he believed would create higher living standards despite population growth. The title, a metaphor for co-operation, refers to the notion that if all the humans on Earth stood on each other’s shoulders, they could reach the Moon. The book has been described by one fan as “an outlandish collection of essays in feverish celebration of the technical and design possibilities of the twentieth century” (Taylor, http://www.nous.org.uk/Nine.html, accessed August 4, 2020). Fuller’s elaborate writing style (also in evidence in the inscription in this volume) put off most critics, with the Kirkus reviewer left “puzzled, confused and doubting” by the “vast areas where I cannot follow him, where mathematical and physical abstractions leave me floundering, where meaning is lost -- for me -- in a thicket of verbiage”.
The recipient of this copy, Bob Cerny, was a modernist architect based in Minneapolis and St. Paul. he graduated from the University of of Minnesota School of Architecture in 1932. “The school’s architectural program, like others across the country, had fallen under the sway of Modernist ideas in the 1930s. The austere Bauhaus strain of Modernism rather than Wright’s more dynamic style prevailed, and once graduates established practices in Minnesota after the war, they filled the state with all manner of Modernist buildings. These homegrown architects—among them Carl Graffunder, Robert Cerny, Jack Liebenberg, and the firm (now HGA) founded by Richard Hammel, Curt Green, and Bruce Abrahamson—rarely achieved national recognition. Even so, their work, usually quite restrained, was of consistently high quality” (Millett, “Minnesota Design”, Metropolis, March 1, 2018). Among Cerny’s most prominent designs was the 1950s Gateway Center in Minneapolis, one of the largest mid-century “urban renewal” projects.
Philadelphia & New York: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1938.
Octavo. Original copper cloth, titles to spine and upper board in black, map free endpapers. Illustrations within the text, folding chart at rear. Cloth rubbed, bumped, and scuffed with some spots and marks particularly to the lower panel, rodent damage to the lower edge and gutter of the rear endpapers and folding chart, and the same along the bottom edges of the final 25 leaves of contents, lighting toning of the contents. A very good copy.
Gifford, Isabella | The Marine Botanist; an Introduction to the Study of the British Sea-Weeds
Third edition of this nicely illustrated work, an unusually attractive copy.
Gifford “lived much of her life in Falmouth and then in Minehead, Somerset. She wrote a book on marine botanists in 1848 and contributed plants, primarily specimens of seaweed, to the Somerset Archaeological Society. Sensitive to the conribution of other women botanists, she memorialised Elizabeth Warren in 1865 for her zealous and careful collections. She corresponded with the Glasgow professor of botany G. A. Walker Arnott and her letters are included in his correspondence in the British Museum of Natural History. One of her papers appeared in the Journal of Botany in 1871. Her plants are at the Taunton Museum. She is memorialised by the algae genus Giffordia Batt” (Ogilvie, Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science, p. 501).
...Containing Descriptions of all the Species, and the Best Method of Preserving Them. Third Edition. Greatly Improved and Enlarged, with Illustrations Printed in Oil Colours by W. Dickes. Brighton & London: R. Folthorp, Longman and Co., 1853.
Octavo. Original green cloth blocked in blind with a ivy-leaf border, title to spine gilt, yellow coated endpapers. Westley’s & Co. binder’s ticket to rear pastedown. Errata leaf. 8-page publisher’s catalogue at rear. Chromolithographic frontispiece and 5 plates, 6 lithographic plates. Spine a little tanned and spotted, cloth lightly rubbed at extremities with a couple of small worn spots at the ends of the spine, light spotting to the edges of the text block, occasional small spots to the plates. Very good condition.
Gould, Stephen Jay | Dinosaur in a Haystack
- First edition, first printing and a beautiful association copy inscribed by the author on the half title, “For Richard & Judy, All the best, dear old friends, Steve. Stephen Jay Gould”.
Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002) was one of the leading evolutionary biologists of the 20th century. His theory of punctuated equilibria challenged the idea that evolution is a slow and constant accumulation of changes, pointing out that instead it often occurs in rapid bursts of speciation followed by periods of stasis. He was a prominent defender of teaching of evolution in schools and a leading critic of the field of sociobiology, which he saw as providing a pseudoscientific basis for discrimination. But he was best known as a popular science writer, penning three hundred essays that were originally published in Natural History Magazine.
Dinosaur in a Haystack collects thirty-four of these essays, most notably the title piece, which discusses how rates of fossil survival influence theories of mass extinction, and “Dinomania”, his review of the film Jurassic Park and astute analysis of the explosion of interest in dinosaurs during the late 20th century. “...dinosaurs were just as big, as fierce, and as extinct forty years ago, but only a few nerdy kids, and even fewer professional palaentologists, gave a damn about them... why now and not before?”
The recipients of this volume were Richard and Judy Milner. Richard and Gould were childhood friends, and Richard eventually became a historian of science and Gould’s editor at Natural History Magazine. “In 1953, two sixth graders in Bayside, Queens, became best friends after they discovered their shared passions for Gilbert & Sullivan operas, dinosaurs, the American Museum of Natural History and Charles Darwin. In their pantheon of heroes, Darwin ranked above even Joe DiMaggio. Their classmates, of course, considered them geeks and bestowed appropriate nicknames: Fossilface and Dino. Fossilface grew up to become an evolutionary biologist better known as Stephen Jay Gould” (Tierney, “Darwin the Comedian”, The New York Times, 9 February, 2009).
- ...Reflections in Natural History. New York: Harmony Books, 1995.
Octavo. Original black quarter cloth, black boards, title to spine in red. With the dust jacket. Illustrations within the text. A fine copy in the jacket.
Hansen, James | Storms of My Grandchildren
First edition, first printing of this important popular work by leading climate scientist James Hansen (1941 - ).
Hansen, currently director of the Program on Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions at Columbia University, has been studying climate change since the 1970s, making important contributions to our understanding of the atmosphere of Venus; how the global average temperature is measured and calculated; the effects of black carbon (such as that produced by forest fires and burning coal); and the design and analysis of climate models, showing that climate change has been occurring faster than most early models predicted.
Hansen first came to public prominence when he testified to Congress in 1988 on the causes and effects of climate change, and in recent years he has been an outspoken activist, critical of ineffectual mitigation policies, and being arrested three times during 2011 demonstrations against the Keystone Pipeline. Storms of My Grandchildren explains the science of anthropogenic climate change, why it threatens humanity’s future, discusses the political issues that kept it from being adequately addressed, and proposes a way foreword for the economy and environment.
...The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity. Illustrations by Makiko Sato. New York: Bloomsbury, 2009.
Octavo. Original black boards, titles to spine in silver. With the dust jacket. Illustrations and charts within the text. Spine a little rolled. An excellent, fresh copy in the bright jacket.
Hill, Justina | Germs and the Man
First edition, first printing, presentation copy inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “Inscribed for Dr. G. A. C. Colston, from his long-time associate, Justine Hill, Baltimore, Mar 26, 1940”.
This work on disease-causing microbes was described as “the best popular presentation that had yet appeared” on the subject by psychiatrist Karl Menninger (Ogilvie, Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science, p. 601). Author Justina Hill (1893-?) attended Smith College and the University of Michigan, then served as a Red Cross worker, running a bacteriological laboratory in Spartanburg, South Carolina during the final two years of the First World War. She was then transferred with a Smith College unit to the Near East, where she ran a laboratory for five thousand refugees. “Upon returning to the United States, Hill was made an associate in bacteriology at the Brady Urological Institute and two years later an instructor in urology... She published numerous technical articles in medical journals as well as popular books on bacteriology” (Ogilvie). In 1942 she published Silent Enemies, on the communicable diseases of war, and in 1944 she contributed a piece in the Atlantic: “How Bad is the Flu? The possibility of recurrent epidemics, perhaps of increasing virulence, even of another pandemic, must be faced”.
New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1940.
Octavo. Original buff cloth, titles to spine and upper board blocked in green, decorative design blocked in brown, top edge dyed green. 8 double-sided plates. Light rubbing at the extremities, small bump to the edge of the lower board, small white spot to spine, slight abrasions and creasing to the edges of a few leaves, some light spotting to the plates. A very good copy.
Horner, John [Jack] R. & James Gorman | Digging Dinosaurs
First edition, first printing. A lovely copy of this important memoir of excavating Egg Mountain in Montana, one of the most productive fossil beds on earth and the location of both the first dinosaur embryos and the first nests of baby dinosaurs to be discovered.
John “Jack” Horner (1946 – ) is one of the most recognisable of contemporary palaeontologists. The recipient of numerous awards, including a McArthur Fellowship, for his work on dinosaur reproduction, development, and physiology, he was also a staple of 1980s and 90s documentaries and served as a technical advisor for the Jurassic Park films, whose main character, Dr. Alan Grant, he partially inspired. Horner has come under scrutiny in recent years for having a romantic relationship with an undergraduate volunteer in his laboratory, resulting in his early retirement.
In 1977 Marion Brandvold, the owner of a mineral shop in Bynum, Montana, discovered fossils of juvenile dinosaurs and asked Horner to identify them when he happened to stop at the shop during a scouting trip the following year. At the time, only a handful of juvenile dinosaurs were known, and their absence in the geological record was a major problem for palaeontology. Realising their significance, Horner immediately contacted his employers at Princeton (remarkably, he was then working as a preparator of other researcher’s finds, and had not yet run a dig of his own) for permission to remain in Montana and begin excavating the site. Within a few days Horner, his colleague Bob Makela, and the Brandvolds had uncovered whole nests containing young duck-billed dinosaurs – a world first. The juveniles were clearly being cared for by their parents for an extended period, much like birds, and this discovery was the first evidence of complex reproductive behaviour in dinosaurs. The site also revealed the first egg clutches in the Western hemisphere and the first dinosaur embryos found anywhere. Excavations have since revealed that the site was home to thousands of Cretaceous-period dinosaurs, with evidence of more than 15,000 individuals, making it the largest group of dinosaur skeletons on Earth and evidence that some species exhibited social and possibly migratory behaviours (”Digging for Dino Eggs with Famed Paleontologist Jack Horner”, Wired, October 28, 2011).
Published in 1988, Digging Dinosaurs was written for a popular audience and covers the first six years of excavations, including the major discoveries of nests and embryos, and includes a foreword by Sir David Attenborough as well as numerous illustrations.
...Illustrated by Donna Braginetz and Kris Ellingsen. New York: Workman Publishing, 1988.
Octavo. Original black boards, black cloth backstrip, titles to spine gilt, red endpapers. With the dust jacket. 4 double-sided plates from colour photographs, black and white illustrations throughout the text. Spine rolled. An excellent copy in the fresh dust jacket.
Jeans, James | The Universe Around Us
Second printing, in the rare and evocative Raymond McGrath-designed dust jacket.
Author James Jeans (1877-1946) was a respected Cambridge mathematician and astronomer, best known for his work on rotating, gravitational bodies, "a problem of fundamental importance that had already been tackled by some of the leading mathematicians" (ODNB), and the motions, structures, and life-cycles of stars and stellar clusters.
"In 1928 Jeans's academic work Astronomy and Cosmogony came to the attention of S. C. Roberts, the secretary of Cambridge University Press, who appreciated the general interest of its subject matter and the attraction of Jeans's writing style. He persuaded Jeans to write a popular account, The Universe Around Us, which was published by the press in 1929" (ODNB). Jeans's popularity as a writer "depended partly on his topic-new, thought provoking views of the universe-and partly on his style, which combined an authoritative knowledge of the subject with a vivid turn of phrase" (ODNB).
As Jeans describes it in the introduction, The Universe Around Us is “a brief account, written in simple language, of the methods and results of modern astronomical research, both observational and theoretical. Special attention has been given to problems of cosmology and evolution, and to the general structure of the universe.”
The dust jacket designer, Raymond McGrath (1903-1977) was a printmaker, illustrator, architect, and interior designer whose first commission was the interior of the BBC’s Broadcasting House in 1930. He later completed commissions for Imperial Airways and the War Artists’ Advisory Committee, and spent the latter part of his career as Senior and the Principal Architect at the Office of Public Works in Dublin.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1929.
Octavo. Original blue cloth, titles to spine gilt. With the dust jacket. 24 plates, illustrations and diagrams within the text. A few small spots to the cloth, light dampstain affecting the edge of the upper board, partial toning of the free endpapers, some faint toning of the contents. A very good copy in the rubbed, tanned, and price-clipped jacket with slight dampstain corresponding to that on the cloth, a chip from the head of the spine panel, and some smaller chips and short closed tears.
Leakey, Mary | Olduvai Gorge. My Search for Early Man
First edition, first impression and a fine copy, uncommon in such nice condition.
Mary Leakey (1913-1996) was an accomplished archaeologist and paleoanthropologist who worked primarily on early humanoid fossils in Kenya and Tanzania with her husband and scientific partner Louis Leakey. “The site that will always be associated with Mary Leakey is Olduvai Gorge, a canyon in northern Tanzania containing rich collections of fossils and artefacts spanning about the last 2 million years. This became her second home, where she enjoyed fieldwork and research, accompanied by her pack of beloved dalmatian dogs, of which she was a well-known breeder. At Olduvai on 17 July 1959 she made one of the most famous fossil discoveries of all time, the skull of a 1.8 million-year-old early human relative whom Louis named Zinjanthropus (now Australopithecus or Paranthropus) boisei. Television coverage of the find made the Leakeys household names all over the world and brought them desperately needed funding from the National Geographic Society. Mary laboured under the hot sun, meticulously recording scatters of early stone tools and fossil bones, setting new standards for archaeological fieldwork, while Louis concentrated on fund-raising and lecturing. The technical details of her work are published in volumes 3 (1971) and 5 (1994) of the Olduvai Gorge series of Cambridge University Press and a popular account is given in Olduvai Gorge: My Search for Early Man (1979)” (ODNB).
London: Collins, 1979.
Octavo. Original red boards, titles to spine gilt. With the dust jacket. 6 double-sided plates from black and white photographs, line drawings throughout the text. A fine copy in the jacket.copy.
Leffall, LaSalle D. | No Boundaries. A Cancer Surgeon's Odyssey.
First edition, first printing of the autobiography of one of the world’s leading cancer surgeons. Presentation copy inscribed by the author to columnist William Safire on the title, “To Bill Safire, with best wishes & thanks for all you do for so many at Dana and the New York Times, Lasalle D. Leffall, 9/27/06.”
LaSalle D. Leffall (1930-2019) graduated first in his class from the Howard University School of Medicine and served as a senior fellow in cancer surgery at Memorial Sloane-Kettering, which he chose because “I thought surgery was the most dynamic field” and “Memorial Sloane-Kettering was using some of the most exciting techniques” (Krapp, Notable Black American Scientists, p. 205). In 1962 he joined the faculty of Howard, rising to chair of the department of surgery only eight years later.
Leffall “focused on clinical studies of cancer of the breast, colorectum, head, and neck,” publishing more than 116 journal articles across his career. He became the first Black president of the American Cancer Society in 1978, and “used this national forum to emphasize the problems of cancer in minorities, holding the first conference on cancer among Black Americans in February 1979” (Krapp). Leffalle also served as the first Black president of the American College of Surgeons, was a visiting professor at more than 200 institutions, and received numerous awards. In 1996 Howard University established an endowed chair in surgery in his name.
Bill Safire (1929-2009) began his career as a public relations executive before joining the Nixon campaign in 1960, working as a speechwriter for both Nixon and Agnew. In 1978 he began a nearly thirty year-long career as a New York Times political columnist. Lefall’s mention of “Dana” in the inscription references the Charles A. Dana Foundation, a private charity supporting brain research, of which Safire was chief executive and chairman and Leffalle a member of the board of directors. This copy of No Boundaries was inscribed to Safire at a Dana Foundation event, “Can Immunology Help Win the War on Cancer?” at which Leffall was one of the panellists, and which was followed by a reception and signing to celebrate the book’s publication.
Washington D. C.: Howard University Press, 2005.
Octavo. Original black boards, titles to spine gilt. With the dust jacket. 8 double-sided plates from photographs. Only the lightest rubbing and a few minor creases to the jacket. A superb, fresh copy.
Magnus, Albertus (attributed) | De Secretis Mulierum
The 1643 Amsterdam edition of the “misogynist masterpiece” The Secrets of Women, an influential and widely-disseminated work of natural philosophy that laid the intellectual foundations for early modern witch persecutions (Cabre, review of Women’s Secrets in ISIS volume 85, no 3, 1994). The publisher of this edition was Johannes Janssonius (1588-1664), Willem Blaeu’s main rival in map publishing, and it includes an engraved title depicting the mythological figure Callisto, in labour and appealing to the goddess Artemis.
This copy has a distinguished provenance, having been in the library of the poet and angling bibliographer Thomas Westwood (1814-1888), who added a manuscript note on Izaak Walton’s second-hand quotation of De Secretis. It was later owned by the medievalist and economic historian Louis Francis Salzmann (1878-1971), and was most recently in the library of noted barrister and bibliophile Sir George Engle (1926-2016).
Long attributed to Albertus Magnus, De Secretis was probably composed by one of his followers during the late 13th or early 14th century, and survives in around 83 manuscript copies, of which 50 were printed in the 15th century and over 70 in the 16th (Lemay, Women’s Secrets. A Translation of Pseudo-Albertus Magnus’s De Secretis Mulierum with Commentaries, p. 1). Though the contents cover what we would now consider obstetrics and gynaecology, including menstruation, spermatogenesis, conception, fetal development, and infertility, the text is not a practical medical manual but a philosophical exploration of the human body and its relation to the cosmos.
As a follower of Albertus Magnus, the treatises’s author “believed that the study of nature as perceived through sense experience and then analyzed in a rational manner forms a single discipline through which we come to comprehend the universe in its corporeal aspects. Human reproduction, a main subject of this treatise, is one of these aspects, that nevertheless has repercussions for our understanding of the entire cosmos. This becomes particularly evident in the treatment given to astrological influences on the developing fetus. Pseudo-Albert begins his discussion by outlining how the sphere of the fixed stars confers upon the fetus various virtues, and moves back and forth from particular celestial effects to a general treatment of prime matter and the intelligences” (Lemay, p. 3).
De Secretis was most likely “designed to be used within a religious community as a vehicle for instructing priests in natural philosophy, particularly as it pertains to human generation... A strong subtext of the Secrets, however, is the evil nature of women and the harm they can cause to their innocent victims: young children and their male consorts. Clearly then, another purpose of this treatise is to malign the female sex, a tradition that extends back in Christianity to second-century misogynist writings” (Lemay, p. 16).
Among the concepts that the text popularised were the idea that women’s menstrual blood was poisonous, that post-menopausal women (especially those who were poor) were more “venomous” because they could no longer expel the toxins, and that women were inherently lascivious beings with a physiological need to absorb the heat and life force of men. “It is these misogynistic ideas about women’s sexuality that seeded their demonization in the years that followed, as the Secrets served as a direct source for the Malleus maleficarum. Indeed, the most famous statement from the Malleus explicitly connects witchery with ideas about women’s sexuality rooted in the medieval period: ‘All witchcraft comes from carnal lust, which is in women insatiable’” (McLemore, “Medieval Sexuality, Medical Misogyny, and the Makings of the Modern Witch”, blog of the University of Notre Dame’s Medieval Studies Institute, October 30, 2020).
...Item de Virtutibus Herbarum Lapidum et Animalium. Amsterdam: Johannes Janssonius, 1643.
Duodecimo. 19th-century olive calf, spine gilt in compartments with fleur-de-lis tools, red morocco label, double gilt fillets, marbled endpapers, gilt turn-ins, green silk bookmark detached. Engraved architectural title depicting a woman in labour, decorative initials. 19th-century armorial bookplate and label of Thomas Westwood, and his manuscript note in ink to the verso of the front free endpaper, “Izaak Walton is supposed to have quoted this work at second-hand, through Topsel’s ‘History of Four-Footed Beasts & Serpents’ p. 421 (edit of 1607)”. Bookplate of L. F. Salzmann dated 1899. The covers which were previously detached have been professionally reattached with tissue at the hinges by Bainbridge Conservation. Old repairs to cracks and chips in the spine, calf rubbed and a little worn at the edges, occasional faint dampstain in the margins. Very good condition.
Mann, Michael E. | The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars
First edition, first printing. Presentation copy inscribed on the front free endpaper, “3/24/2012, To John & Louis, thanks for all you’re doing, Michael Mann”.
This "important and disturbing account" of climate change science and politics is by leading researcher Michael Mann of Penn State’s Earth Science System Center (Kirkus Reviews).
Mann was the leader of the team that produced the 1999 “hockey stick graph” showing the dramatic rise in atmospheric temperature of the past century as compared with the previous thousand years. Mann’s work is central to the current understanding of anthropomorphic climate change, he has published four books and more than two hundred papers, and has been involved with numerous high-profile government and scientific organisations. Mann has also been on the receiving end of the climate change disinformation campaign, most notably in 2009 when his email was hacked and cherry-picked statements were released to make it look as though his results were fabricated. Following this, the Republican Attorney General of Virginia demanded, and was denied, access to his papers and Mann was also forced to sue several news organisations for defamation.
This volume covers the basics of climate science, Mann’s personal experiences in the field, including the development of the hockey stick graph, and the aggressive disinformation campaigns waged against climate scientists by fossil fuel companies, politicians, and the right-wing media.
...Dispatches from the Front Lines. New York: Columbia University Press, 2012.
Octavo. Original red boards, titles to spine in black. With the dust jacket. A fine copy in the jacket.
Maryańska, Teresa | O Gadach bez Sensacji
First edition, first impression. A rare copy of this charming, illustrated booklet on dinosaurs published by Warsaw’s Museum of the Earth. WorldCat only locates one copy, at the National Library of Poland. The detailed edition statement records that this book was submitted for typesetting in October 1969 and approved for printing in March 1970, with the order number dated 1969, for a total of 5,200 copies. Though the date 1979 appears above the statement, this is a typo, likely for 1970 (many thanks to Philip Penka of Bernett Penka Rare Books for the translation).
Author Teresa Maryańska (1937-2019)) was a leading dinosaur palaeontologist associated with the Museum of the Earth at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, where she as vice-director between 1976 and 2006. “Her research was initially on invertebrate palaeontology. Her thesis concerned the Bryozoa, but she was always interested in vertebrates and looked for an opportunity to study them. Eventually, she was invited to participate in the Polish-Mongolian Palaeontological Expeditions to the Gobi desert, and became an active, highly appreciated participant of all four expeditions” (Borsuk-Białynicka & Jakubowski, “In Memoriam: Teresa Maryańska”, Acta Palaeontologica, volume 64, number 4, 2019).
Maryańska’s first dinosaur research was on the ankylosaurs, and her magnum opus on their anatomy and taxonomy was published in 1977. She then worked on specimens of the pacycephalosaurs, protoceratopsians, and hadrosaurs, and oviraptors, and many of her discoveries were made while working closely with her colleague and friend Halszka Osmólska (1930-2008). She was also a co-author of several chapters of The Dinosauria, one of the most important scholarly reference works on dinosaurs, first published in 1990 and “unparalleled for its comprehensiveness at the time” (Borsuk-Białynicka).
Warsaw: Wydawnictwa Geologiczne, Muzeum Ziemi pan Warszawa, 1970.
Duodecimo. Original yellow wrappers printed in black with a black and white photo of fossilised dinosaur skin to the upper wrapper. Folding map. Diagrams and illustrations from black and white photographs throughout the text. Contemporary price sticker to the rear cover. Wrappers a little tanned and rubbed, tail of spine bumped. A very good copy.
Max Rigo Selling Company | International Aviation Meet. Grant Park Chicago. Panoramic Post Card.
A striking, oversized panoramic postcard photomontage depicting one of the most important aviation events prior to the First World War, the August 1911 International Aviation Meet at Grant Park in Chicago.
The Chicago meet was the largest airshow held up to that time, only eight years after the first powered flight by the Wright Brothers. Over the course of nine days thirty-three amateur and professional aviators competed for cash prizes totalling just over $100,000, watched by an estimated 300,000 spectators. Lincoln Beachey, the world’s premiere stunt pilot, set a world altitude record of 11,642 feet and two pilots, William R. Badger and St. Croix Johnstone, died in crashes.
This postcard is a fantastical composite image depicting the airshow, incorporating photographs of the lakefront buildings, Grant Park, railway tracks, and crowd shots, and all merging into painted backdrops and “crowds”. Fourteen planes are visible in the sky, and while most are painted, a few may have originally have been photographs. Another three are depicted on the ground or taking off, surrounded by people. This copy of the card was posted by “Laurie” of 1859 Sedgwick St, which is adjacent to Lincoln Park on the north side of town, and the recipient was “Miss Florence Ort” of Defiance Ohio. Laurie has additionally annotated the image, labelling for her friend Michigan Avenue, the famous Blackstone Hotel, opened just two years previously, the Auditorium theatre, and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Chicago, IL: Max Rigo, 1911.
Folding panoramic postcard (290 x 195 mm). Professionally mounted, glazed, and framed using archival materials. Composite photographic image depicting the Chicago lakefront and early planes. The sender’s and receiver’s details filled out in black ink, and four landmarks noted on the image in the same hand. Marks from stamp, some toning and spotting of the verso, creasing and wear, particularly near the original folds (which are fragile) and at the corners and slightly affecting the image, small tape repair to one corner on the verso. Very good condition.
Morgan, Ann Haven | Field Book of Animals in Winter
First edition, first printing and a lovely copy in the dust jacket. The Field Book of Animals in Winter is much less common than Morgan’s book on ponds and streams, and is rarely found in such nice condition.
As a child, Ann Haven Morgan (1882-1966) developed a love of nature by exploring the areas around her home in Connecticut. She earned her bachelor’s degree and doctorate at Cornell, the latter under James G. Needham at the Limnological Laboratory.
Returning to Cornell, “she advanced steadily up the academic ladder, becoming a full professor in 1918. During the summer she conducted research and taught courses on echinoderms at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole... Although limnology (the study of inland waters) was her special subject – on which she wrote a useful book, Field Book of Ponds and Streams (1930) – Morgan was also interested in many other facets of zoology, particularly hibernating animals. Her Field Book of Animals in Winter (1939) reflected this interest. In 1949 the Encyclopaedia Britannica made it into an educational film” (Ogilvie, Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science p. 913).
Among her other scientific interests were conservation and ecology and educational reform. Morgan was a member of numerous professional societies, including the American Entomological Society, American Society of Naturalists, American Society of Zoologists, and the New York Herpetological Society. She was prominent enough to be one of only three women included in the 1933 edition of American Men of Science.
...With 283 Illustrations, Including 4 Full-Colour Plates. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1939.
Octavo. Original blue cloth, titles to spine gilt, all edges dyed red. With the dust jacket. Photographic frontispiece and 14 plates of which 11 are double-sided, including 2 double-sided colour illustrations. Numerous illustrations within the text. Yellow pencil sometimes used to highlight passages, primarily in the early chapters. A few tiny bumps at the edges of the cloth. An excellent, fresh copy in a very attractive example of the dust jacket that is lightly rubbed with some small nicks and chips, a little creasing at the edges, and mild toning of the spine panel.
NASA | From Here, Where? A Source Book in Space Oriented Mathematics
First edition and an excellent copy of this book of space-related mathematics for high school teachers.
This volume was published as part of NASA’s drive to incorporate space science into American curriculums during the Space Race. As Michael J. Vaccaro, chairman of the Committee on Space Science Oriented Mathematics, writes in the introduction, “Surrounded by a changing world, the teacher of today must relate new knowledge and new experiences to his students. However, there is a gap between teacher needs and available textbook material. This problem is particularly acute in the areas affected by our efforts in the scientific exploration of space due to the exponential growth of scientific and technical information. Until the results of this research can be incorporated into textbooks for classroom use, supplemental material must provide a partial solution to meeting these needs.” The contents begin with lesson plans on the Ptolemaic and Copernican systems, the solar system, and observing the stars and planets, and go on to cover basic rocketry, gravity and motion, navigation, and studying the weather from space.
...for Secondary Levels. Prepared from materials furnished by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in cooperation with the United States Office of education by a Committee on Space Science Oriented Mathematics. Washington D. C.: NASA and the US Office of Education, 1965.
Large octavo, 192 pages. Original green wrappers printed in black. Illustrations and diagrams throughout the text. Lightly rubbed at the extremities, spine toned. An excellent copy.
Norman, David & Angela Milner | Eyewitness Books: Dinosaur
First edition, first impression of Dinosaur, one of the earliest titles in the best-selling Eyewitness Books series, together with the first printing of the American edition, published in the same year. Copies of the first printings of the 1980s Eyewitness books are scarce, particularly in such beautiful condition.
The publisher Dorling Kindersley was founded in London 1974, and in the 1980s began taking advantage of new design technologies to radically revise the traditional page layouts of children’s books. As they described to Children’s Software Review in 1997, the goal was to “slow down the pictures and speed up the text”, allowing children to “experience information from their own particular point of view” (cited by Stringham, “The Efficacy of Small Multiples in the Visual Language of Instructional Designs”, Brigham Young University thesis, 2012). "What DK did—with almost revolutionary panache—was essentially to reinvent nonfiction books by breaking up the solid pages of gray type that had previously been their hallmark, reducing the text to bite-size, nonlinear nuggets that were then surrounded by pictures that did more than adorn—they also conveyed information. Usually full color, they were so crisply reproduced they seemed to leap off the page” (Cart, “Eyewitness Books: Putting the Graphic in Lexographic”, Booklist, October 15, 2002). There are now more than 100 Eyewitness Books, and more than 50 million copies have been sold in thirty-six languages.
The first Eyewitness Books were published in 1988, and Dinosaur appeared the following year, one of the first sixteen in the series and still in print today. Its authors are both prominent palaeontologists. Angela Milner, of the Natural History Museum in London, has done important work on archaeopteryx, providing evidence in the debate over whether it was a bird or dinosaur. David Norman is curator of vertebrate paleontology at Cambridge University’s Sedgwick Museum. In 2017 he and two other paleontologists made the case for a complete revaluation of early dinosaur evolution and taxonomy, arguing that the two main dinosaur clades were more closely related than previously understood.
London & New York: Dorling Kinderseley, Ltd. & Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1989.
2 volumes, tall quarto. Original glossy white boards illustrated with photos, dinosaur-patterned endpapers. Colour illustrations throughout. The London printing has faint toning of the front free endpaper, the New York printing is lightly rubbed at the tips. An excellent, fresh set.