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Being Algae
Open Access
Transformations in Water, Plants
Water plants of all sizes, from the 60-meter long Pacific Ocean giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) to the micro ur-plant blue-green algae, deserve attention from critical plant studies. This is the first book in environmental humanities to approach algae, swimming across the sciences, humanities, and arts, to embody the mixed nature and collaborative identity of algae.
Ranging from Medieval Islamic texts describing algae and their use, Japanese and Nordic cultural practices based in seaweed and algae, and confronting the instrumentalization of seaweed to mitigate cow methane release and the hype of algal photobioreactors, amongst many other standpoints, this volume comprehensively addresses the ancestors of terrestrial plants through appreciating their unique aquatic medium.
Universal Scholar and Natural Scientist of the Renaissance
Author:
Translator:
The Zurich polymath Conrad Gessner (1516–1565) is known as the founder of zoology and plant geography, the father of bibliography, editor of ancient texts, and author of one of the most important paleontological works of the sixteenth century. While preparing his extensive work on plants, he died unexpectedly and early from the plague. Gessner's interest in the natural sciences was rooted, on the one hand, in the new conception of nature that emerged with the Renaissance, and, on the other hand, in the creation theology of the Reformation, which considered nature as a second book of God's revelation next to the Bible. This richly illustrated and erudite biography is the first biography of Gessner to appear in English.

This biography is a translation of Conrad Gessner (1516-1565): Universalgelehrter und Naturforscher der Renaissance (Basel: NZZ Libro, 2016).
Maria Sibylla Merian’s Caterpillar Book
Author:
The Flowering of Ecology presents an English translation of Maria Sibylla Merian’s 1679 ‘caterpillar’ book, Der Raupen wunderbare Verwandelung und sonderbare Blumen–Nahrung. Her processes in making the book and an analysis of its scientific content are presented in a historical context. Merian raised insects for five decades, recording the food plants, behavior and ecology of roughly 300 species. Her most influential invention was an 'ecological' composition in which the metamorphic cycles of insects (usually moths and butterflies) were arrayed around plants that served as food for the caterpillars. Kay Etheridge analyzes the 1679 caterpillar book from the viewpoint of a biologist, arguing that Merian’s study of insect interactions with plants, the first of its kind, was a formative contribution to natural history.

Read Kay Etheridge’s blogpost on “Art Herstory”.

See inside the book.
Paintings, Drawings and Prints up to the Nineteenth Century
Authors: and
This richly illustrated book provides an overview of all known Dutch and Flemish artists up to the nineteenth century who painted or drew flower pieces, or else made prints of them. Unlike many mainstream art historical studies, the book takes a truly comprehensive approach, including cases where only a single example is known or even if nothing of the artist’s other work appears to have survived. Containing highly instructive lists identifying the names of flowers, as well as insects and other animals, the book also discusses the earliest depictions of flower still life and the distinctive characteristics behind the development of floral arrangements in different periods, including the variation of the flowers, the variety of techniques used by artists, as well as an exploration of the symbolism behind the numerous plant and animal species this form of art portrays.

Composed in Dutch, the text was translated into English by Judith Deitch and edited by Philip Kelleway.

Publication of this book was made possible thanks to generous support of:
• Dr. med. Bettina Leysen
• Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo and the Center for Netherlandish Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

With additional support of the M.A.O.C. Gravin van Bylandt Stichting.

See inside the book.
In Crocologia – A Detailed Study of Saffron, the King of Plants, Sally Francis and Maria Teresa Ramandi present the first translation into English of Johann Ferdinand Hertodt’s seminal 1671 work Crocologia, a book uniquely devoted to the medical uses of saffron. Hertodt discusses saffron’s origin, related species, cultivation, selection, properties and lists all its pharmaceutical preparations. Hertodt then journeys through diseases of the human body, presenting saffron-containing formulae for their treatment.

The two authors complement the translation with a biography of Hertodt, and detail saffron’s botany, current production, uses, its changing reputation as a drug, and review findings from new medical research. There is a full Glossary, and translation of a contemporary animadversion of Crocologia by Hertodt’s rival, Wenzel Maximilian Ardensbach.
A Study of Morality In Nature
Can we discover morality in nature? Flowers and Honeybees extends the considerable scientific knowledge of flowers and honeybees through a philosophical discussion of the origins of morality in nature. Flowering plants and honeybees form a social group where each requires the other. They do not intentionally harm each other, both reason, and they do not compete for commonly required resources. They also could not be more different. Flowering plants are rooted in the ground and have no brains. Mobile honeybees can communicate the location of flower resources to other workers. We can learn from a million-year-old social relationship how morality can be constructed and maintained over time.
The Atlas of the Hoverflies of Greece is the first of a kind within the Mediterranean region. It is the result of decades of research, many travels into the fascinating habitats of Greece (a biodiversity hotspot), visits to world museums, and many people’s passion for hoverflies.
The Atlas is a concise presentation of all 418 hoverfly species for Greece known so far. The species are documented with photos and distribution GIS-maps and they are preceded by a general introduction on the hoverflies and Greek nature, and a generic key.
The Atlas of the Hoverflies of Greece is a handbook for insect aficionados, students and teachers, everyone interested in nature, and managers and conservationists aiming at raising public awareness of a nature nowadays threatened more than ever.
Author:
In 1964-1965 Herbert Buhr published his ‘Bestimmungstabellen der Gallen (Zoo- und Phytocecidien) an Pflanzen Mittel- und Nordeuropas’. These keys were developed in the great tradition of cecidology in Europe. During the second half of the twentieth century a new generation of cecidologists expanded significantly our knowledge of plant galls and their distribution, about doubling the knowledge known before.

We concentrated on Buhr’s keys, but implemented additions, especially for Southern Europe, from Houard (1908-1913): Les zoocécidies des plantes d’Europe et du bassin de la Méditerranée. The nomenclature of as well gall inducers as host plants has been updated, and information about specific groups of gall inducers has been reviewed and new insights have been given by a team of specialists. To the proxy 9,000 galls and malformations described by Buhr and Houard, we added about 1,250 new galls which have been described in the more recent literature. Moreover, we collected distribution data for total Europe and, if available, adjacent areas.

VOLUME I: Abies-Myrrhis
VOLUME II: Narcissus-Zygophyllum
VOLUME III: References, Plates, Index
A Comprehensive History of Tea from Prehistoric Times to the Present Day
The Tale of Tea is the saga of globalisation. Tea gave birth to paper money, the Opium Wars and Hong Kong, triggered the Anglo-Dutch wars and the American war of independence, shaped the economies and military history of Táng and Sòng China and moulded Chinese art and culture. Whilst black tea dominates the global market today, such tea is a recent invention. No tea plantations existed in the world’s largest black tea producing countries, India, Kenya and Sri Lanka, when the Dutch and the English went to war about tea in the 17th century. This book replaces popular myths about tea with recondite knowledge on the hidden origins and detailed history of today’s globalised beverage in its many modern guises.
Collecting, Recording and Preserving the Natural World from the Fifteenth to the Twenty-First Century
Volume Editor:
Interposed between the natural world in all its diversity and the edited form in which we encounter it in literature, imagery and the museum, lie the multiple practices of the naturalists in selecting, recording and preserving the specimens from which our world view is to be reconstituted. The factors that weigh at every stage are here dissected, analysed and set within a historical narrative that spans more than five centuries. During that era, every aspect evolved and changed, as engagement with nature moved from a speculative pursuit heavily influenced by classical scholarship to a systematic science, drawing on advanced theory and technology. Far from being neutrally objective, the process of representing nature is shown as fraught with constraint and compromise.

With a Foreword by Sir David Attenborough

Contributors are: Marie Addyman, Peter Barnard, Paul D. Brinkman, Ian Convery, Peter Davis, Felix Driver, Florike Egmond, Annemarie Jordan Gschwend, Geoff Hancock, Stephen Harris, Hanna Hodacs, Stuart Houston, Dominik Huenniger, Rob Huxley, Charlie Jarvis, Malgosia Nowak-Kemp, Shepard Krech III, Mark Lawley, Arthur Lucas, Marco Masseti, Geoff Moore, Pat Morris, Charles Nelson, Robert Peck, Helen Scales, Han F. Vermeulen, and Glyn Williams.