Cellulose: an Outline of the Chemistry of the Structural Elements of Plants with reference to their Natural History and Industrial Uses

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Abstract

NO more aggravating book could be placed in the hands of a reviewer: inchoate in the highest degree, it deals with a subject of extraordinary interest and importance in an absolutely original manner; it teems with suggestions which those who can read between the lines will find of the greatest value; but it is disfigured by an obscurity of diction which must materially diminish its usefulness, and to do it justice a degree of patience and long-suffering must be exercised which probably few possess. Certainly it has taken me a long time to screw up my courage to the point of venturing to publicly discuss its merits; but the delay has served a good purpose: had I recorded my first impressions, they would have been highly unfavourable; whereas I can now say that the more often I take the book in hand the more it fascinates me, and the more I realise how important are the problems it presents for consideration. In fact, whatever the faults of the work, all who are in any way concerned with the manifold uses which cellulose subserves, whether in nature or art, must seek to appreciate its contents, and must study it as by far the most important contribution to the subject published since the appearance in 1876 of the magnificent fragment, entitled, “Die Pflanzenfaser und ihre Aufbereitung fur die Technik,” by Dr. Hugo Müller. A comparison of the two books shows how extraordinary is the progress made during the past twenty years; and yet how absolutely ignorant we remain of the nature of cellulose.

Cellulose: an Outline of the Chemistry of the Structural Elements of Plants with reference to their Natural History and Industrial Uses.

By Cross Bevan. Pp. 320. (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1895.)

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A., H. Cellulose: an Outline of the Chemistry of the Structural Elements of Plants with reference to their Natural History and Industrial Uses. Nature 55, 241–243 (1897) doi:10.1038/055241a0

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