Soft Cover. Paris: Éditions du Muséum National D'Histoire Naturelle, 1958. First Edition. Very Good.
First edition. Folio. Illustrated with several diagrams and drawings throughout the text, three fold-out tables, and 36 full page plates following text, many in color. Publisher's light brown paper wrappers lettered in black with illustrated paper onlay to front wrapper. A very good copy with toning to extremities, front wrapper disbound but present, spine worn and rear wrapper starting, paper clip imprint to first few leaves, otherwise clean interior with beautiful, bright illustrations; ownership label of Mr. Philip M. Chancellor laid in. Overall, a beautiful copy of this unique botanical text. A comprehensive text on the hallucinogenic mushrooms of Mexico, this volume combines natural and social science to describe not only the biology and growth patterns of psychotropic mushrooms, but also their use by various groups of people. Indeed, the use of these mushrooms dates back to ancient times, when they were used in religious ceremonies as a means to communicate with the gods. The authors, R. Heim, a botanist, and R. Gordon Wasson, an ethno-mycologist, used evidence from several expeditions to Mexico along with records held by the Muséum National D'Histoire Naturelle in Paris to inform their research. Wasson, whose research involved participating in some of these religious ceremonies, which were still practiced in some parts of Mexico, was one of the first Western researchers to study the subject.