Baker, J. A. | The Peregrine.
- First edition, first impression of this masterpiece of 20th century nature writing, cited by Ted Hughes, Andrew Motion, Werner Herzog, and many others as one of the most important books of its kind. Rare in such lovely condition in the dust jacket.
J. A. Baker (1926-1987) was a librarian who spent ten years tracking peregrine falcons in coastal Essex during the 1950s and 60s. This, the first of his two published works, distills his observations of the birds and their changing habitat into a lyrical account of a single year, beginning in autumn with the birds’ migration from Scandinavia and ending with their return north in spring.
“The book records these months of chase in all their agitated repetitiveness. It describes them in language so intense and incantatory, and yet also so amok with beauty, that the act of bird-watching becomes akin to a shamanic ritual... Baker's most remarkable achievement in The Peregrine, to my mind, is the quality of deep strangeness with which he invests the East Anglian landscape. His Essex - 50 miles from London, aggressively farmed, densely peopled - is somehow made as mysterious, elemental, wild and remote as anywhere in the world. Like Ted Hughes, Baker is able to evoke a deep Englishness: to make a long-inhabited landscape seem timeless and mythic” (MacFarlane, "Extreme Styles of Hunting", The Guardian, May 21, 2005).
- London: Collins, 1967.
Octavo. Original black boards, title to spine gilt, green endpapers. With the dust jacket. Spine slightly rolled, mild sunning of the upper edges of the boards, faint spotting to the edges of the text block. An excellent copy in the fresh jacket that is just a little faded along the spine panel with a very short closed split to the lower panel.
Talbot, Marion | The Education of Women
First edition, first printing. In the rare dust jacket.
Marion Talbot (1858-1948), one of the founders of the American Association of University Women, was raised in a family “deeply involved in education”, her mother serving as a leading figure in the establishment of Girl’s Latin School, a Boston institution offering a college preparatory curriculum for women.
Talbot graduated from Boston University and then joined the new Woman’s Laboratory at MIT. “The Laboratory was then studying the adulteration of foods an the chemical constituents of common household materials” (Ogilvie, Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science, p. 1262). Talbot worked closely with Ellen Swallow Richards, the laboratory’s founder, and together they published a book on home sanitation. Later, Talbot joined the University of Chicago as an assistant professor in home economics, becoming dean of women’s instruction three years later. “At Chicago, Talbot actively investigated the nutritional requirements of college women and wrote a second book with Richards on this topic. She also developed a house system for the women and helped establish a woman’s student union with a hall that included a gymnasium and pool” (Ogilvie, p. 1262).
The present volume describes recent social and economic changes in the lives of women in the United States, and explains how women’s needs can be better met at every level of education.
Chicago: The University of Chicago, 1910.
Octavo. Original dark green cloth, title to spine gilt. With the rare dust jacket. Spine rolled, dampstain and loss of size affecting the head of the spine, top edge of the lower board, and verso of the jacket, contents faintly toned with occasional light spots. A very good copy in the price-clipped jacket that is rubbed, toned, and foxed, with tanned spine panel, a small chip from the upper panel, and small chips at the head and tail of the spine panel.
[Gell-Man, Murray] Snooke, W. D. | The Calendar of the Memory
First and only edition of this rare guide to memorising timekeeping rules and astronomical tables, from the library of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Murray Gell-Mann (1929-2019), with his bookplate on the front pastedown. Only one copy of this book appears in auction records, sold at Dominic Winter in 2004, and WorldCat locates five institutional copies, at the British Library, St. Andrews, Cambridge, Glasgow, and the Open University.
Murray Gell-Mann was one of the founders of the standard model of physics, responsible for predicting the existence of both quarks and gluons. “To bring order to a plethora of recently discovered subatomic particles, in 1961 Gell-Mann proposed a set of rules based on symmetries in the fundamental forces of nature. The rules classified subatomic particles called hadrons into eight groups, a scheme he named the eightfold way in a reference to Buddhist philosophy. In 1964, he realized that such rules would naturally arise if the particles were composed of two, three or more fundamental particles, held together by the strong nuclear force... protons and neutrons, for example, would be made up of three of these more fundamental particles, which Gell-Man named quarks, inspired by a quote — ‘Three quarks for Muster Mark!’ — from James Joyce’s 1939 novel Finnegans Wake (Nature obituary, 28 May, 2019).
As is apparent from his esoteric naming conventions, Gell-Man was a polymath with extremely wide-ranging interests, foremost among them linguistics and archaeology. Novelist Cormac McCarthy described him as knowing “more things about more things than anyone I’ve ever met”. Gell-Mann “wanted to understand the ‘chain of relationships’ that connected the universal laws of physics to complex systems like economies and human cultures. He described these two extremes of interest in his 1994 book, The Quark and the Jaguar, as ‘two aspects of nature…on the one hand, the underlying physical laws of matter and the universe, and on the other, the rich fabric of the world that we perceive directly and of which we are a part’” (Santa Fe Institute obituary, 24 May, 2019). These interests led him to found the Santa Fe Institute to collaborate with “economists, linguists, biologists, computer scientists, and with other physicists who shared his passion for finding fundamental principles in learning, evolving systems” (Santa Fe Institute obituary). It may have been Gell-Mann’s interest in linguistics or a related field that attracted him to this volume.
Little is known of the author of this work, W. D. Snooke, but he was apparently a professor of mathematics and was also responsible for a volume on the botany of the Isle of Wight and a selection of Psalms. The Calendar of Memory was well-reviewed by Mechanic’s Magazine, which reported that “we earnestly recommend this work to all who have ever experienced the benefit of the old verse beginning with ‘thirty days hath September’, which is much the same thing, we presume, as if we were to recommend it to every man, woman, and child, in the three kingdoms... Although the memorial verses form, of course, the peculiar feature of Mr. Snooke’s Calendar, they are far from being its only recommendation. The rules embodied in them, and the explanations by which they are accompanied, are distinguished by great simplicity, conciseness, and accuracy” (Mechanic’s Magazine, Museum Register, Journal and Gazette, no., 309, July 11, 1829, p. 352).
...Comprehending Familiar Explanations of the Subjects Necessary for the General Calendar, &c. With the Rules Rendered in Verse For the Memory, by which the Principal Divisions of Time, Moon’s Age, Eclipses, Tides, with Various Other Astronomical and Interesting Particulars, Can be Mentally Ascertained. Also, a Guide to the Stars... London: J. Stephens, .
Duodecimo. Original dark blue skiver, spine gilt in compartments, title to upper board gilt. Bookplate of Murray Gell-Man. Contemporary or near-contemporary ownership signature to the front free endpaper. Boards a little rubbed and scuffed, particularly at the extremities, two abrasions of the fore-edge slightly nicking and creasing the margins, significant foxing affecting pages 37 through 71. A very good copy.
(Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp) | Women's Peace Camp zine
A rare zine-style newsletter published in February 1983, early in the history of the Greenham Common Peace Camp. It contains camp news and information, including upcoming events, a map of the airfield, diagrams of Holloway and Drake Hall prisons, and who to contact to arrange Non-Violent Direct Action training. There are letters and essays reflecting on the methods and philosophy of the protest, and first-hand accounts of recent actions, the most interesting of which is a graphic-novel style retelling of an attempt to enter the base in snake costumes during the visit of Secretary of State for Defense Michael Heseltine at the beginning of February. The rest of the zine is heavily illustrated, including photographs taken by both activists and professionals (including several famous photos by journalist Raiasa Page) as well as drawings by camp members. Greenham Common zines, particularly from so early in the movement, seem to be rare in trade. We cannot locate any copies of this or similar issues in WorldCat, at auction, or with other booksellers.
The Greenham Common protest was established in September of 1981 by the Welsh group Women for Life on Earth, who were opposed to the deployment of nuclear tipped cruise missiles at the site. What was initially planned as a single march became a permanent protest camp, one of the most significant and longest lasting women’s protests of the 20th century. In February 1982, for political reasons, the camp was made women only, and the following month they engaged in their first blockade of the base.
The Greenham Common camp had no hierarchy, and its nature was defined by the thousands of individual women who visited when they could or lived permanently onsite for years. The activists engaged in non-violent resistance by disrupting movement in and out of the gates, cutting down portions of the fence, and trespassing on military property, and they endured frequent police raids, arrests, and evictions. A large number of the protesters were middle aged and older; they considered themselves ordinary mothers and working women, and made a point of the fact that they were opposed to nuclear weapons for deeply personal reasons. Their gender was crucial to their message: “a woman’s place was not in the home, but at a protest. Women could use their identity as carers and mothers to say, this is about the future safety of our children. We weaponised traditional notions of femininity” (Suzanne Moore, “How the Greenham Common Protest Changed Lives”, The Guardian, March 20th, 2017).
February 1983. 1983.
32 page photocopied magazine (293 x 210 mm). Original black and white wrappers, the upper decorated with snakes and the lower with a printed poem. Some of the text in typescript and some reproduced from manuscript. Illustrations from photographs and drawings throughout. 40p price sticker to the upper cover. Wrappers very lightly rubbed, minor creasing to the upper corner and head of spine, contents toned as expected. Excellent condition.
Wood, Elizabeth A. | Crystal Orientation Manual
First edition of this introductory crystallography manual by the first female scientist at Bell Labs. As the author writes in the preface, “Many chemists, physicists, engineers, and technicians who are today confronted with the problem of obtaining a slice or rod of suitable orientation for their experiments have not had crystallographic training: it is for these that the manual was written”.
Elizabeth Wood (1912-2006) was educated at Bryn Mawr, where she became an instructor in geology. Following teaching stints at Barnard and Columbia she joined Bell Labs in 1942 and remained there for the next twenty-four years. Wood’s interests “ranged from the growth of single crystals with useful semiconducting, lasing, magnetic or superconducting properties to the crystallographic investigation of new materials with unusual properties such as the exhibition of both ferromagnetism and piezoelectricity. She also worked on material phases that could be changed by the application of appropriately oriented electric fields and on the formation of new superconductors” (International Union of Crystallographers obituary).
Woods was a highly respected scientist, whose advice was often sought by colleagues. She was also a talented science writer, publishing books for both popular and professional audiences. “Her reputation for clearly written texts spread as a result of her Rewarding Careers for Women in Physics (1962) and Pressing Needs in School Sciences (1969) published by the American Institute of Physics (AIP) in 1962. It became wider still with the publication of her Crystal Orientation Manual in 1963, which expounded the art and science of preparing shaped pieces of large accurately oriented single crystals for technicians... Five years later, her Science for the Airplane Passenger was published and proved very successful, appearing for many years in airport bookstores throughout the US and other countries. Her deep interest in improving the scientific understanding of the general public was recognized by the ACA’s establishment of an Elizabeth A. Wood Science Writing Award. Its purpose is to honor the authors of outstanding publications that bring science to the attention of the general public" (International Union of Crystallographers obituary).
Wood was also active in professional societies, serving as secretary of the American Society for X-Ray and Electron Diffraction and taking the lead in its merger with the Crystallographic Society of America. In addition to drafting the constitution for the resulting American Crystallographic Association, she was elected its first female president in 1957.
New York and London: Columbia University Press, 1963.
Ring bound. Original cream wrappers printed in black and green with an x-ray crystallograph. Diagrams, charts, and illustrations from photographs throughout the text. Old tape repair at head of spine, library ticket to tail of spine, ink stamp “Property of the US Army Redstone Scientific Information Center” to the inside of the cover, library pocket to inside lower wrapper. Wrappers toned and rubbed with some light marks and creasing and a small area of dampstain to the lower wrapper. Very good condition.
Freundlich, Erwin | Die Grundlagen der Einsteinschen Gravitationstheorie
Second impression (originally published the previous year) of this proposal for testing Einstein’s theory of relativity by the astronomer Erwin Finlay-Freundlich (1885-1964).
Freundlich knew Einstein well during the period when they both lived in Berlin, and astronomical proofs of Einstein’s theories were among his major research interests. “The quest for high accuracy in the measurement of the redshift in the solar spectrum led him to plan the building of the famous Einstein tower in Potsdam. he was also involved in some of the earliest attempts to measure the deflection of starlight during eclipses. In the summer of 1914 he led an expedition to the Crimea to observe a total solar eclipse. Caught by the outbreak of the First World War, he and some of his party were interned by the Russians as enemy aliens. Fortunately, the group was soon exchanged for some Russian officers who had been early taken as prisoners of war” (Batten “Obituary: Erwin Finlay-Freundlich”, Journal of the British Astronomical Association, issue 1, vol. 96, p. 33, 1985).
It is possible that this failure led to the rapid acceptance of general relativity several years later. “Einstein had not completed his work on that theory in 1914, and was predicting a deflection of starlight... only half the value that he gave in the definitive paper of 1915. Had Freundlich been successful in 1914, he would thus have found twice the expected value, and Einstein’s later paper, instead of appearing as a brilliant predication, might have seemed an ad hoc adjustment of the theory to fit the observations” (Batten, p. 33).
...Mit einem Vorwort von Albert Einstein. Berlin: Julius Springer, 1917.
Duodecimo. Original cream wrappers printed in black. 1 leaf of publisher’s ads at rear. Short pencil note to upper wrapper. Wrappers toned and rubbed with a few small marks, creases and nicks. Contents fresh. A very good copy.
Klieneberger, Emmy | Über die Größe und Beschaffenheit der Zellkerne mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der Systematik.
First edition, first impression of the doctoral dissertation of prominent bacteriologist Emmy Klieneberger-Nobel (1892-1985).
Klieneberger-Nobel’s doctorate was in botany, with mathematics and zoology as areas of special interest. This, her dissertation, is on the nature of cell nuclei. After graduation she worked part-time in the zoology laboratory at Goethe University and then found a position as a bacteriologist at the Hygiene Institute in Frankfurt. “Although she knew little about bacteriology when she began, by 1930 she had become a member of the German Society for Hygiene and Bacteriology and a member of the institute’s medical faculty” (Ogilvie, Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science, p. 705).
After Hitler’s ascent, Klieneberger-Nobel emigrated to the UK, where she obtained two further degrees at London University joined the staff of the Lister Institute. Her main area of research were the mycoplasma, the genus of microbes which lacked a cell wall and were suspected to be an intermediate form of life between bacteria and viruses. “She discovered a variant, known as the ‘L-form’, which she named for the Lister Institute. Recognising that there were variants within the mycoplasma, Klieneberger-Nobel developed a medium to grow the mycoplasma that caused an unusual strain of bronchopneumonia in rodents. She found that after incubating for several days, colonies had grown that were similar to those of the well-known pleuropneumonia and agalactia. New morphological forms were found in dogs as well as rodents, and a saprophytic strain was found in sewage and soil” (Ogilvie, p. 705).
“Dr. Albert Sabin in the United States had a described a ‘rolling disease’ that resulted from toxoplasma infection of mouse brains. After Klieneberger-Nobel had written to Sabin, he sent her freeze-dried brains of infected mice. She successfulyl grew cultures from his samples in her special medium and shared her results with Sabin. Before her work could be published in the Lancet, Sabin published his results in Science, neglecting to mention Klieneberger-Nobel’s part in his results” (Ogilvie, p. 705). Klieneberger-Nobel identified several other mycoplasma diseases. She discovered that the rat disease polyarthritis was caused by mycoplasma in the animals’ joint fluid, and her work later led to the isolation of the human illness Mycoplasma pneummoniae.
...Inaugural-Dissertation zur Erlangung der Doktorwürde der hohen naturwissenschaftlichen Fakultät der Königlichen Universität zu Frankfurt a. M. Dresden: Druck von C. Heinrich, 1917.
Duodecimo. Original yellow wrappers printed in black. 1 plate. Diagrams and charts within the text. Three institutional ink stamps to the upper wrapper. Wrappers tanned with some short closed tears, splits and and chips at the ends of the spine and the corners of the upper wrapper. Contents tanned. A very good copy.
Fleming, Alexander | Penicillin: Its Practical Application
First edition, first printing of "the only book that Fleming prepared regarding his discovery of the antibiotic properties of penicillin" (Norman 800). This copy with a humorous contemporary gift inscription likely from one doctor to another: “The Quack, In the hope that it may instil a little medical knowledge. [J. P. or D.?] 16/7/46”.
Fleming made his discovery in 1928 and published his earliest paper on penicillin in 1929. But the substance was difficult to purify, and did not become available in large quantities until Howard Florey and Ernest Chain successfully mass-produced it at the beginning of the Second World War. It was during the conflict that penicillin proved its worth, successfully treating hundreds of thousands of Allied soldiers.
This volume was published shortly after the war. The expectation was that penicillin would soon be available commercially, but "there was not yet an authoritative British book for the guidance of the practitioner in its use" (preface). It contains an introduction by Fleming on his discovery of penicillin and twenty-six other essays on the history, manufacture, and clinical use of the drug by "experienced and eminent men" who were among the earliest to experiment with and prescribe it. A key work on one of the most significant medical breakthroughs of the 20th century, published while the therapy was still "very young and rapidly evolving" (preface).
Bibliography: Norman Library of Science & Medicine 800, Printing and the Mind of Man 420, Garrison-Morton 1933.
London: Butterworth & Co., Ltd., 1946.
Octavo. Original green cloth, titles to spine gilt. Numerous diagrams and illustrations within the text. Contemporary gift inscription in ink to the front pastedown. Spine slightly rolled, cloth rubbed and marked with some faint dampstain to the upper board, lower corner bumped, short closed tears in the upper margins of pages 311-314 not affecting text. A very good copy.
Smith, W[illiam] Tyler | A Manual of Obstetrics
First edition of one of the key Victorian obstetrics manuals. Uncommon in commerce.
Physician William Tyler Smith (1815-1873) earned his MD in 1848 and for several years worked mainly as a writer and educator, serving on the editorial staff of The Lancet and helping found the Medical Directory in 1845. Beginning in 1851 he worked as an obstetrician and lecturer at St. Mary’s Hospital, and was examiner of obstetrics at the University of London for the typical term of five years. Smith was one of the founders of the Obstetrical Society, and was elected its second president in 1860. “The subsequent success of the society was largely due to his contributions in memoirs and in debate and to his capacity for work” (ODNB).
“Urged by his close friend Marshall Hall, Smith studied the applications of the reflex function to obstetrics, with the result that the practice of obstetrics became, for the first time, guided by physiological principle. The results of his researches were published in The Lancet in the form of weekly lectures. The earliest series was collected and issued separately as Parturition, and the Principles and Practice of Obstetrics (1849), with a dedication to Hall. Some further lectures similarly contributed to The Lancet formed the basis of his Manual of Obstetrics (1858). Both books are remarkable considering they were written when Smith had little practical experience. The Manual of Obstetrics immediately became, and long remained, the favourite textbook in Britain, despite being defective in certain practical aspects, especially regarding operative procedures” (ODNB).
...Theoretical and Practical. Illustrated with 185 Engravings. London: John Churchill, 1858.
Octavo (170 x 103 mmm). Late 20th century quarter dark brown calf, brown cloth sides, new dark brown calf labels, new endpapers. Steel engravings throughout the text. Half page of related manuscript notes in pencil to the verso of the rear free endpaper, occasional pencil notations in the text. Text well-thumbed with some toning of the edges of the leaves, particularly at the rear. Very good condition.