The aim of this series is to interest the general reader in the wildlife of Britain by recapturing the enquiring spirit of the old naturalists, encouraging unusual and original developments of forgotten or neglected facets of British natural history. Collins are delighted to announce the republication in facsimile form of the first editions of the very first volumes in the New Naturalist Library. Originally planned in the darkest days of World War II and first published in 1945, this series is the longest running nature series in the world. It is a reflection of the quality of the authors and the books they wrote, that they are still sought after 73 years later. The books will be identical in every way to the original first editions, including the iconic jackets by Clifford and Rosemary Ellis. There has been a great increase in knowledge of the composition, structure, and history of our flora in recent years. Dr.Turrill, former Keeper of the Herbarium at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, contributed as much as any other botanist to this increase and has laid special emphasis on the integration of the older methods of classification with the more recent techniques of ecological and genetical research.
The resulting story, though not yet complete, is as exciting as a first-class detective novel. In the present volume emphasis is placed on the gaps and uncertainties in our knowledge and it is suggested how readers with a flair for accurate observation and simple experiment can help towards completing the story. In the broad sense, the British flora can be regarded as an offshoot of that of the European continent. The influence of geographical position and geographical history has, however, resulted in distinct peculiarities, and, above all, there have been the modifications produced by the last great Ice Age. How much was destroyed and how much survived this catastrophe is discussed by Dr. Turrill. The various routes of migration are traced as far as possible and the changes in climate and the advent of man are shown to have led to profound alterations in the flora.
1890-1961. Botanist and herbarium curator, author of British Plant Life (1948). Keen naturalist from youth, largely self-taught. Joined Kew as assistant 1909 and remained there until retirement, from 1946-57 as Keeper of herbarium and library. Influential in changing plant systematics from herbarium-based to one of living plants, incorporating modern studies in ecology, cytology, chemistry and genetics.