When I was looking through our stacks for a special volume to blog about, I came across Mordecai Cubitt Cooke’s Rust, Smut, Mildew and Mold: an introduction to the study of microscopic fungi.
I was initially impressed by the illustrations…
Then, I found written imagery that showed signs of an eccentric at work, which peaked my interest…
Made curious, I did a little research… and found a man with a truly fascinating life!
- He worked in and contributed to the Herbarium in the Kew Royal Botanical Gardens Museum.
- Edited the journals Grevillea and Hardwicke’s Science Gossip.
- Co-founder of the British Mycology Society in 1896.
- Got an honorary M.A from Yale in 1873.
- Was awarded the Linnean Medal from The Linnean Society in 1903.
M.C. Cooke did not have much in the way of a formal education but wrote hundreds of articles and books on botany and mycology. Collected roughly 46, 000 specimens, contributed over 20 years of service to museum collections, while editing journals and founding societies.
Mordecai, was a busy guy!
Rust, Smut, Mildew and Mold: an introduction to the study of microscopic fungi, is viewable in its entirety at the Internet Archive online, or by visiting the Special Collections and Archives anytime Monday through Friday, 9:00 – 4:30.