Rare print by Mordecai Cubitt Cooke, founder the Society of Amateur Botanists and of the Quekett Microscopical Club!
'Cortinarius (Inoloma) Tophaceus, in beech woods, Rothiemurchas, Aug. 1883'.
Born in Horning, Norfolk, Mordecau Cubitt Cooke received very little in the way of formal education, but living in the countryside and with the help of his uncle he was personally tutored in botany, languages and mathematics. His career became rather random, serving an apprenticeship in the drapery trade, spending some time as a lawyer’s clerk and then teaching natural history at Holy Trinity National School, Lambeth. After this he worked as a curator at the India Museum at India Office from 1860 to 1879. In 1879 when the botanical collections from the India Museum were transferred to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Cooke went with them.
He received the Victoria Medal of Honour from the Royal Horticultural Society in 1902 and the Linnean Medal from the Linnean Society of London in 1903. Cooke wrote, illustrated, edited and translated many books and was involved with 300 articles. Despite this not all these turned out to be financially successful, Cooke struggled to make a living, and after his retirement he faded into near obscurity.