Mushrooms, Russia and History
Valentina Pavlovna Wasson and R.Gordon Wasson
Pantheon Books, New York. 1957
This FREE digital edition of R. Gordon Wasson’s Mushrooms, Russia and History was scanned from the original and hand corrected by Igor Dolgov, Zachary Jones, and Greg Golden, with thanks to a generous contributor. A PDF file has been created and can be downloaded to your computer for free. It contains both volumes and all of the color plates. Only 517 copies of the original book were printed in 1957.
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A hefty monograph on the history, science, linguistics, folklore, art, and eroticism of mushroomsâ€”and, not least, their gastronomical role; also present is an account of sacred mushroom consumption that brought a great deal of attention to psychoactive fungi and to the Wassonsâ€™ experiences therewith, strongly influencing the psychedelic movement.
Valentina Wassonâ€™s upbringing in mushroom-loving Russia inspired this work, although directly Russian-related material is scant compared to the masses of international lore compiled here. Befitting a labor of love, the volume was handsomely printed by the prestigious Stamperia Valdonega (following Hans Mardersteigâ€™s design) on heavy paper with deckle edges. Its pochoir plates reproduce beautiful life-sized watercolor paintings of mushrooms done by naturalist Jean-Henri Fabre, and other numerous plates depict other works of interest such as Gainsboroughâ€™s â€œMushroom Girl.â€