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BOOK REVIEW by Adolf Ceska: COLLECTION OF ESSAYS ON PTERIDOPHYTES

  • Subject: [ferns] BOOK REVIEW by Adolf Ceska: COLLECTION OF ESSAYS ON PTERIDOPHYTES
  • From: "Louise Parsons" parsont@peak.org
  • Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2005 08:10:34 -0800

The following book review, from "BEN-L, Botanical Electronic News", No. 341     
(January 27, 2005), is posted here for your enjoyment, with kind permission 
from the author. 

BEN-L Subscriptions: http://victoria.tc.ca/mailman/listinfo/ben-l
BEN is archived at http://www.ou.edu/cas/botany-micro/ben/


BOOK REVIEW: COLLECTION OF ESSAYS ON PTERIDOPHYTES
From: Adolf Ceska [aceska@telus.net]

Moran, Robbin C. 2004. _A natural history of ferns_. Timber
   Press, Portland, OR. 301 p. ISBN 0-88192667-1 [hard cover]
   Price: US$ 29.95
   Available from: Timber Press, Portland, OR
   http://www.timberpress.com/

This is a magnificent collection of essays that covers the yes! - natural 
history of ferns. Some of the essays were originally published in the 
_Fiddlehead Forum_ (a newsletter of the American Fern Society) and one in its 
British equivalent, _Pteridologist_. Two of them (_In search of the fern seeds_ 
and _Nardoo_) were also posted in BEN.

Thirty three essays cover all aspects of ferns and the so-called fern allies. 
The book is richly illustrated with 145 figures and 25 colour plates, and the 
illustrations are an integral part of the book. There are not too many nor too 
few, just right for the treated topics. As a matter of fact, when I posted two 
of Robbin Moran's essays in BEN, I had a hard time finding some that could
stand on their own without their accompanying illustrations. "This book relies 
heavily on illustrations," writes Robbin Moran in the Acknowledgements and he 
thanks Haroto M. Fukuda for preparing many of the drawings. With quite a few 
drawings taken from the published literature, the author (and I assume Haroto
M. Fikuda as well) managed to combine different styles very well. The result is 
a uniform visual feast, not a hodgepodge of pictures randomly thrown together.

This is a beautiful book. Get it, read it, and become a pteridophyte addict. I 
warn you, this is a dangerous obsession. Pteridophytes are like cats: you have 
to like them, you are always amazed by them, but you will never understand 
them. Good luck! 

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