Smith, Annie Lorrain | A Handbook of the British Lichens
First edition, first impression and a lovely copy in exceptional condition.
Smith (1854-1937) “spent her entire career as a volunteer at the British Museum of Natural History... for although she was trained in botany by Dr. Scott at the Royal College of Sciences, she was unable to choose whether to become a professional or remain an amateur... Since women were not admitted to the museum staff, she had no choice but to work for free if she wanted to work at all. She volunteered to remount a collection of recently purchased microscopical slides, and through this experience was able to prepare an exhibit of microfungi for the public gallery. From this time on she was connected with the Cryptogamic Herbarium as an unofficial worker almost continuously up to the time of her eightieth birthday... Although her earliest work was on seaweeds, she soon became fascinated with the fungi. She joined the British Mycological Society and contributed notes on new records and other papers to the Society’s Transactions. After James Crombie, who was producing a monograph on British lichens, died in 1906, Smith undertook the completion of the work. After she prepared the second volume, she reworked the first... this two-volume set became a standard work. She also prepared a small Handbook in 1921 and in the same year produced her encyclopaedic volume on lichens, which was one of the Cambridge Botanical Handbooks” (Ogilvie, Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science, p. 1202).
...With Ninety Figures in the Text. London: printed by order of the trustees of the British Museum, sold by B. Quaritch and at the British Museum (Natural History), 1921.
Octavo. Original green cloth over limp boards, titles to spine and British Museum of Natural History roundel to the upper board gilt, double rules to boards blocked in blind. Steel engravings throughout the text. Minor production flaw in the cloth of the upper board, very light rubbing at the tips. An excellent, fresh copy.