Friday, 28 May 2021

seashore—never more

Via Strange Company’s Weekend Link Dump, we learn that during his life time, Edgar Allen Poe’s most popular and best-selling work was the field guide “The Conchologist’s First Book.” In the 1830s, geology, due to the rising interest in coal as a fuel source, and its sister-science of conchology (see previously) were the hottest commodities as combined, it allowed one to expound on Earth’s history through studying successive strata, and Poe’s slim and portable contribution to the discipline was well-received and had the poetic and evocative subtitle: A System of Tesataceous Malacology—that is, the study of small, soft-bodied creatures by exhuming their hardened ruins. Though perhaps not the most expressive vehicle, some of the author’s flair and license does manage nonetheless to shine through. Much more to explore at the links above.