The essay explores the life and legacy of Henry Thomas Soppitt, focusing on his elucidation of the life cycle of the rust fungus Puccinia bistortae (F. Strauss) DC. It focuses on the impact this discovery had on the Yorkshire mycological community during a period of threat to its standing caused by the professionalization of science and subsequent degradation of the amateur. It goes on to explores how two Yorkshire mycologists and participants in the discovery, Charles Crossland and James Needham, used accounts of Soppitt's discovery to ensure his legacy and, later, to attempt to ensure the legacy of their community. It shows how these accounts were varied in their content and medium and analyses the relative value of collections to printed text to Yorkshire mycologists through the differences in their accounts.
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Archives of Natural History, October 2020, vo. 47, No. 2 : pp. 219-235
Provincial mycology and the legacy of Henry Thomas Soppitt (1858–1899) (W. T. Stearn Prize 2019)
Keywords: amateur science, Yorkshire Naturalists' Union, amateur-professional conflict, Puccinia bistortae, Charles Crossland, James Needham, rust fungi
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