Wednesday, September 19, 2018

An early Mossberg?

“Matsvampar i färg” is an intriguing little book, first published in 1971. My copy is dated 1975. It's a field guide to Swedish edible mushrooms, but also contains poisonous species (clearly marked with scary red dots and lines), since some of them can be confused with the edible specimens. Thus, both the “death cap” and the “destroying angel” can be found in this volume. The field guide is confusingly edited. The color plates contain species presentations, but additional information can be found in a text-only section in the latter half of the book.

When I leafed through “Matsvampar i färg”, I was struck by the good quality of the illustrations. They turned out to be made by Bo Mossberg. This may have been his first attempt at making a field guide. A few years later, both Mossberg and Olle Persson (the author) decided to produce a much better work on Swedish mushrooms, the two-volume “Svampar i naturen”, which also exists in an English translation. I think it's still in print. “Matsvampar i färg”, by contrast, is mostly a curiosity these days, but it was nevertheless interesting to see an early Mossberg…

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