Old Book – Some Common Mushrooms

I’ve recently been looking at some old mushrooming books that are now, due to their age, in the public domain.

These books are freely available for download from The Internet Archive (http://www.archive.org) but you may also download them from here.

Today I have selected was the Some Common Mushrooms and How to Know Them by Vera Katherine Charles and published in 1931 (more details at The Internet Archive.)

This book contains plenty of black and white photographs and, although I believe that some of the coloured drawings in the older books are better for field identification guides, I can also understand the desire, in 1931, to move forward to new technologies.




The writing is very clear and concise as the entry on Lepiota shows….

The genus Lepiota may be distinguished from Amanita and Amanitopsis by the presence of a ring and the absence of a volva.

The cap is generally scaly or granular and the stem is fleshy and  easily separable from the cap, in which it leaves a cuplike depression.

The gills are usually free and are white when young, but certain species are pink or green when mature.

The ring may be fixed or free, and when the plant is young it is readily seen, but before maturity it may have disappeared. This genus contains some of the finest edible species as well as some extremely dangerous ones.

Now, I personally believe that the clarity of the selected text would put many of the writers of today’s mushrooming guides to shame.

And I particularly liked the subtle warning of the last sentence.

The slightly disappointing photography apart, this is a real gem of a book and I’m really rather glad that I came across it.

I wonder what sort of person Vera Katherine Charles was?

And I wonder what prompted her to invest the time in a project that is still a valuable reference today, some eighty years after it was first published?

Some Common Mushrooms and How to Know Them may be downloaded by right clicking here and choosing to  save as (it might read Save Link As on some browsers.)

All the best

Reddit Digg Stumble Bookmark


BretonDiary - My simple life in Brittany French Public Holidays Images of Brittany Market Days in Brittany A Taste of Garlic
BretonDiary French Public Holidays Images of Brittany Market Days in Brittany A Taste of Garlic
Best Gites in Brittany Roadside Tales Internet Acceleration Appliance www.MushroomDiary.com Brittany Websites
Best Gites in Brittany Roadside Tales Internet Acceleration MushroomDiary Website Design


Mushroom Diary - mushrooming in south-west Brittany, FranceMushrooms: River Cottage Handbook No.1

This River Cottage Handbook, `Mushrooms’ by John Wright, is a genuinely funny and hugely informative guide to mushroom and toadstools with some useful cooking tips and recipes too. (Some are even simple enough to try!)

More Information

Mushroom Diary - mushrooming in south-west Brittany, FranceMushrooms

Quite simply – this is the best book of its kind – superb descriptions and pictures – the only book required to correctly identify mushrooms in the UK.

More Information

Mushroom Diary - mushrooming in south-west Brittany, FranceThe Easy Edible Mushroom Guide

Wild mushrooms can be difficult to identify, and many poisonous species look similar to edible ones. An identification guide must therefore leave nothing to doubt, and this book uses both photographs and drawings to present all the essential details

More Information

Mushroom Diary - mushrooming in south-west Brittany, FranceCollins Gem – Mushrooms

This handy, practical guide offers a quick way for beginners to identify mushrooms and toadstools Collins Gem Mushrooms describes almost 240 species of mushrooms and toadstools to be commonly found in Britain. Portable and clear, it is the ideal guide for those out foraging for fungi!

More Information

Mushroom Diary - mushrooming in south-west Brittany, FranceField Guide to Mushrooms

This handy pocket-sized guide provides quick, accurate and easy identification of over 200 European fungi species. Identifying colours and symbols, it classifies the species according to shape. It contains 320 colour photos that show each species with its characteristic features in its natural habitat. It also features 320 graphics that highlight the typical identifying features of each species, and a calendar wheel, which helps identify the time of year when each species can be found.

More Information

Mushroom Diary - mushrooming in south-west Brittany, FranceCollins Complete British Mushrooms and Toadstools

Collins Complete Guide to British Muchrooms and Toadstools allows everyone to identify mushrooms found in Britain and Ireland. The book is illustrated with beautiful photographs throughout, featuring the species you are most likely to see. By only covering Britain and Ireland, fewer species are included than in many broader European guides, making it quicker and easier for the reader to accurately identify what they have found.

More Information

Mushroom Diary - mushrooming in south-west Brittany, FranceComplete Mushroom Book

There are not many people who have been collecting, cooking and devising recipes for mushrooms for over 60 years, but Antonio Carluccio is one. Known as the ‘mushroom man’, Carluccio’s Neal Street Restaurant in London’s Covent Garden is a mecca for mushroom and truffle lovers from all over the world. Carluccio’s expertise is unrivalled and this book, with over 100 recipes that make the most of readily available mushrooms in dishes ranging from classic to contemporary via oriental and Eastern European, will not disappoint.

More Information

Mushroom Diary - mushrooming in south-west Brittany, FranceHow to Identify Edible Mushrooms

Fully illustrated throughout, this practical guide to identifying edible mushrooms gives you all the details you need to enjoy the adventure of locating and collecting wild mushrooms. The book features all edible species of mushroom, together with those with which they may be confused. Organised by habitat for easy reference, it is beautifully illustrated and includes the best ways to cook and eat the mushrooms you collect.

More Information

Mushroom Diary - mushrooming in south-west Brittany, FranceMushroom Hunting

This one-stop practical guide will show you how to identify, pick and cook edible mushrooms. To make your progress easier, it comes in a handy format with colour photos and expert advice throughout. From identifying and picking edible mushrooms to growing your own mushrooms, from recipes for seasonal dishes to important information on poisonous species, this book provides all the helpful information you need to relish the exhilarating experience of collecting wild mushrooms.

More Information

Mushroom Diary - mushrooming in south-west Brittany, FranceThe Encyclopedia of Fungi of Britain and Europe

This is the most comprehensive photographic handbook for the dedicated mycologist, general naturalist or mushroom hunter collecting for the cooking pot. It features 1,000 species of higher fungi found in the British Isles and northern Europe, from the most common to the rarest – including some never hitherto published photographically.

More Information

Mushroom Diary - mushrooming in south-west Brittany, FranceThe Mushroom Feast

‘When all’s said and written, there’s nothing better than field mushrooms that you have gathered yourself, on toast, for breakfast.’ Jane Grigson, The Mushroom Feast The Mushroom Feast is an indispensable classic for all those who love mushrooms. It is a fine, timeless, literary cookbook. Truffles…ceps…morels, they all conjure visions of one of the most intriguing and subtle of all gastronomic treats.

More Information

Mushroom Diary - mushrooming in south-west Brittany, FranceMushroom Pickers Foolproof Field Guide

Discover the delicacies that hide in your garden, local woodlands or fields with this fully-illustrated A-Z guide. Learn the identifying features and habits of the most popular edible mushrooms, and try the suggestions for storing and cooking your bounty. Also included is a section on inedible mushrooms, clearly illustrating the poisonous species that you are most likely to come across.

More Information

Mushroom Diary - mushrooming in south-west Brittany, FranceThe Complete Mushroom Hunter

Gathering edible wild food is a wonderful way to forge a connection to the earth. Mushrooms are the ultimate local food source; they grow literally everywhere, from Central Park to your own backyard. The Complete Mushroom Hunter invites readers to connect with a hobby that will enrich their understanding of the natural world and build an appreciation for an ancient, but relevant, body of knowledge.

More Information

Mushroom Diary - mushrooming in south-west Brittany, FranceCollins Mushroom Miscellany

Mushroom collecting is becoming increasingly popular, and while a comprehensive identification guide is essential, the folklore, facts and fables, recipes and stories that have accumulated since ancient times create part of the charm of these strange organisms. Oddly, these facts have never been compiled in one book.

More Information

Mushroom Diary - mushrooming in south-west Brittany, FranceField Guide Edible Mushrooms of Britain and Europe

The fields, woods and gardens of Britain and Europe are home to a wide range of edible mushrooms, a number of which are not simply good but truly excellent to eat. This book is a practical, user-friendly guide to collecting edible wild fungi species across Britain and Europe.

More Information

Mushroom Diary - mushrooming in south-west Brittany, FranceMushrooms of Britain and Europe

This indispensable guide to the Mushrooms of Britain and Europe is part of the new Black’s Nature Guide series. Over 450 species of mushroom are covered, each beautifully illustrated with detailed paintings and clear photographs.

More Information

Mushroom Diary - mushrooming in south-west Brittany, FranceThe Edible Mushroom Book

Explores the world of edible mushrooms from the field to kitchen. Focuses on the best edible fungi, providing failsafe identification notes for over 50 choice varieties, and offers over 50 delicious everyday recipes using specific mushrooms and mixed mushrooms. Ideal for the forager and the foodie.

More Information

Mushroom Diary - mushrooming in south-west Brittany, FranceMushrooms and Toadstools of Britain and Europe

This guide offers information on observing and identifying 150 of the most commonly encountered fungi species in Britain and Europe, all of which can be recognized without the use of a microscope. A concise description details the main features of each species, which is illustrated by a colour painting. The guide explains how fungi grow, what to look for in each family division and how to make a safe identification.

More Information

Mushroom Diary - mushrooming in south-west Brittany, FranceMushrooming Without Fear

Clear, highly accessible guide – it cuts out all the mushrooms with gills and reduces the field to a group of readily identifiable, edible mushrooms. It includes clear guidelines, encouraging the reader to read the book twice before going out so that they are confident about the principles it explains.

More Information

Mushroom Diary - mushrooming in south-west Brittany, FranceWild Food

Ray Mears has travelled the world discovering how native people manage to live on just what nature provides. Whats always frustrated him is not knowing how our own ancestors fed themselves and what we could learn about our own diet. We know they were hunter-gatherers, but no-one has been able to tell what they ate day to day. How did they find their calories, week in week out throughout the year? In this book he travels back ten thousand years to a time before farming to learn how our ancestors found, prepared and cooked their food.

More Information


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.


;