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Good Reads  Mycology

Mushrooms The Natural and Human World of British Fungi

Series: British Wildlife Collection Volume: 1
By: Peter Marren(Author)
272 pages, colour photos, colour illustrations
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  • Mushrooms ISBN: 9781472971494 Hardback May 2019 In stock
    £27.99 £35.00
Price: £27.99
About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

Reprinted in 2019 without modifications, but with a new ISBN-13.

The first volume of the British Wildlife Collection, Mushrooms, is a remarkable insight into the natural and human world of British fungi by Peter Marren. Written in his own inimitable style, it is a refreshingly candid view of the diversity of fungi and our relationship with this intriguing group, exploring such subjects as the naming of fungi, their importance in natural ecosystems, fungus forays and our ambivalent attitude to edible fungi, as well as recent efforts to record and conserve vulnerable species. Copiously illustrated with beautiful colour photographs.

From the author:
"Mushrooms is my personal take on the world of fungi in Britain, about the pleasures of searching for mushrooms and toadstools, and why they matter. I have written it as a narrative, in current TV parlance as a ‘journey’, beginning with the extraordinary diversity of fungi and the ways in which they exploit the natural world to the history of the fungus foray and the controversy over gathering wild mushrooms for the pot. In the process I zoom in on the nature of names, both Latin and English, at the places which hold the greatest diversity of fungi, and our attempts to conserve rare and vanishing fungi. It is, I hope, a refreshing and amusing look at this ‘third world’ of life, written without jargon and in lively style. I hope it can be read with pleasure by anyone. It is full of lovely colour photographs."

Read 'Mushroom Identification: pro Tips from Top UK Mycologists' on the NHBS Blog



1. A fungal autobiography   6
2. Meet the mushrooms   8
3. What's in a name?   20
4. Mushrooms on parade   64
5. What mushroom is that?   82
6. Natural habitats   100
7. In our midst: our fungal neighbours   120
8. Earthtongues, waxcaps and hedgehogs: what fungi tell us about the natural environment   140
9. Scarcity and plenty: why some mushrooms are common and others are rare   160
10. Forays amongst the funguses   182
11. The good, the bad and the crazy   196
12. Picking for the pot   220
13. Saving mushrooms   234

References and further reading   264
Photographic credits   266
Index   267

Customer Reviews


Peter Marren is one of Britain's leading natural history writers. A former jobbing conservationist, he writes regularly for British Wildlife, BBC Wildlife and the national press. His twenty books include Bugs Britannica, Britain's Rare Flowers and The New Naturalists. Each autumn he leads fungus forays into the wilds of Wiltshire.

Series: British Wildlife Collection Volume: 1
By: Peter Marren(Author)
272 pages, colour photos, colour illustrations
Media reviews

"The biggest attraction of all is Marren's writing: quirky, trenchantly observant, sometimes hilarious, full of engaging anecdotes and as far from the soulless impersonal tone of a fungi field guide as it is possible to get. Implausible as it may seem, here indeed is a man's relationship with mushrooms, in fact, his extravagant love affair with them. It is the single best book on the natural world I have read this year."
– Michael McCarthy, The Independent

"A wonderfully eclectic book about the strange world of fungi, by one of the best nature writers in Britain today"
– Stephen Moss, The Guardian

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