Brooks, William Keith
The Oyster: a popular summary of a scientific study.
Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1891.
Octavo, xxxvi, 230 pages. Illustrated. First edition. "What was once the most bountiful source of oysters in the world has become nearly exhausted. More than a century ago... scientist and Maryland state official William K. Brooks warned that this day would come. A classical morphologist by training, and one of the Johns Hopkins University's first and most distinguished faculty members, Brooks had "tonged oysters in five different states" when the governor of Maryland appointed him Oyster Commissioner in 1882. The Oyster, first published in 1891, is a popular scientific account of what he knew and what he learned on the job. After describing the basic biology of the oyster, Brooks discusses its tremendous reproductive capacity, what it eats, how it lives, why it thrives in the Bay, and what role it plays in the Bay's ecology. But The Oyster is more than a simple biology test. It is also a critical scientific review of oyster management in the Chesapeake Bay, commenting on and criticizing contemporary laws and regulatory practices - many of which are still in place today." (from the introduction by Kenneth Paynter in the 1996 edition, published by Johns Hopkins Press). Three ownership signatures, one early, two much later, to front preliminaries. Some very light rubbing to extremities, otherwise fine in olive cloth, with gilt spine titling and a gilt-ornamental oyster to the front board.