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THE MOSSES OF GREAT BRITAIN
SYSTEMATICALLY ARRANGED AND DESCRIBED ACCORDING TO THE
METHOD OF BRUCI AND SCHIMPER,
WITH ILLUSTRATIVE PLATES:
A NEW (THIRD) EDITION,
WITH MANY ADDITIONS AND ALTERATIONS, OF
THE MUSCOLOGIA BRITANNICA
MESSRS. HOOKER AND TAYLOR.
BY WILLIAM WILSON,
SURVIVING EDITOR OF THE “MUSCOLOGIA BRITANNICA.”
My name, as the Originator of the “ Muscologia Britannica," having, in conjunction with that of the late Dr. Taylor, so long been attached to the work bearing that title, it has been thought desirable that it should be retained in the title-page of the present edition : but it is a duty I owe to my excellent friend Mr. Wilson, and to the public, to say that all the additions and alterations, beyond what appear in the " Second Edition, corrected and enlarged, 1827," and in the “ Musci," by myself, of the Second Volume of the “ British Flora,” are due to the knowledge, and perseverance, and industry of Mr. Wilson; and the additional and corrected figures are all from his accurate pencil.
Royal Gardens, Kew,
W. J. HOOKER.
When this work was undertaken, previous to the appearance of the Bryologia Europea, little more was intended than a correct description of British species of mosses, and an indication of natural affinities, with as little disturbance as possible of the names of the genera given in the second edition of the Muscologia Britannica. A departure from this course was not taken until after grave deliberation, nor without a sense of its necessity; for it was feared that a natural arrangement, and the consequent change of generic names would much tend to discourage those who were only commencing the study of mosses; and on the appearance of the Bryologia Europea it became doubly requisite to avoid any fundamental change in the classification and nomenclature which should not secure the approval of competent judges.
While utterly disclaiming servile imitation, or indolent escape from the labour of sedulous examination of every point connected with the subject of this work, we have adopted the system of Bruch and Schimper, because it appears to be founded upon a legitimate and philosophic basis, and because any attempt to set up a rival system would be as presumptuous as it is superfluous. Entertaining harmonious views, and grateful for the kindly intercourse which we have so long enjoyed with our honoured friend Dr. W. P. Schimper, the principal and surviving author of the Bryologia Europæa, we gladly acknowledge the excellence of that admirable work, wherein the principles of natural arrangement, imperfectly developed in the works of Hedwig, and of Bridel, are so well and maturely carried out and applied.
As the best apology to those who prefer the more simple artificial method of classification employed in the previous edition, and to render the study more easy to those who are only on the threshold, the plates illustrative of the artificial