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TORSSELL, Gustaf (1811–1849)

Anvisning till nödbrödsämnen. 1:a Häftet. Om användandet af Lafvar till föda. Andra öfversedda Upplagan.
Uppsala, G. Torssell, 1845.

Second edition of a very rare Swedish work on how to make surrogate bread in times of famine with lichens (tipped in actual specimens), (N. J. Andersson, 1868, Kröningswärd, 1849 and Torssell, 1845). The first edition was issued the same year. Both were printed by Torssell's own printing office in Uppsala. This little instruction "maybe will be used by somebody, who is not to bound by prejudice, and thereby he may partake of tastier and more nourishing foodstuff than those despair takes recourse in in times of famine ... When you see what good use lichens offer man, both concerning food, healing. tinting etc, you can do nothing but revere the allmighty Providence, who through these small and inconspicious plants has given us so many excellent stuffs we can put to good use if we know to value what we have. Now, when a severe famine threatens part of our Fatherland it would be especially good if every enlightened member of society would educate the poor peasantry how to, from our edible lichens make good and nourishing foodstuff, so that the expensive grain may last longer and that not all the assets of the poor will be exhausted by obtaining bread alone.” Torssell studied lichens extensively brought together rich and beautiful collections in particular during a journey through Jämtland to the Mountains of Norwy in 1842. By reason of the crop failure in Uppland in 1844 he issued his Anvisning till Nödbrödsämnen. Torssell was besides being a lichenologist bookprinter in Uppsala and later in Falun. His book was intended for the unfortunate peasantry in Uppland who were thratened by famine caused by several years of bad harvests. The edition cannot have been large. The four specimens were pasted in by the author himself. Contrary to Nils Johan Andersson's Våra bästa Mat-Lafvar (1868), which was printed in large quantities for free distribution all over the country, Torssell couldn't "due to economic considerations offer the work for free to every parish" in Uppland, but to "a reasonable prize so that many would be able to avail themselves of it".

Collation: Pp 16. With 4 plates with mounted dried lichens.

Binding: Original printed blue wrappers.

References: Krok p 722.

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