Books Received | Published:

Principles of Paleobotany

Nature volume 143, page 661 (22 April 1939) | Download Citation



THEY say the trouble with palseobotany is the number and plasticity of its theories; but these are only symptoms. The real trouble is its facts. To be sure, there are lots which are clearly enough established, but nearly all are incomplete; of the 60,000 fossil plant species which Darrah says have been described, perhaps not more than a dozen or two are known as fully as the fossil botanist can expect to know his material. The result is that nearly everything that can be said in a palæobotanical discussion is of doubtful relevance or equivocal. It is a situation offering splendid opportunities and rewards for research; but for the writing of a fairly short book it is beset with difficulties. However, Dr. Darrah believes in his task, for he writes near the beginning: “From 1885 to 1915 paleobotany underwent its modernization chiefly because of the appearance of the textbooks and reference books”.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

About this article

Publication history




  1. Search for T. M. HARRIS in:


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing