Book review: Minerals of Britain and Ireland, by A G Tindle

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Jon Trevelyan (UK)

Minerals of Britain and Ireland is a comprehensive account of the minerals found in Britain, Ireland and the surrounding islands. At over 600 pages and illustrated throughout by over 550 images (mostly in colour), the book provides exhaustive coverage of the remarkably wide range of minerals found in this part of the world.

An alphabetical listing of all the minerals described from Britain and Ireland comprises the largest part of the book. This includes details of species, varieties, synonyms, discredited minerals and fraudulent descrip­tions. The status of each mineral is clearly represented by distinctive formatting. All type localities are also described and the text is enriched with biographical information on those individuals who have had minerals named after them. It also describes all the major mineral collections in national and local museums and university departments, and it summarises the geological conditions in the major orefields that have produced so many of the minerals.

The last time a book of this type was attempted was 150 years ago, long before modern analytical instrumentation had been developed. Over 900 additional species not previously known to be present in Britain or Ireland have been described since that time. Minerals of Britain and Ireland covers in considerable detail the period 1858 to 2006, with particular emphasis on the last 50 years. In total, over 2,200 minerals are listed, including over 1,000 confirmed species.

The book will be welcomed by the community of mineral collectors, curators, dealers, students and research scientists. Furthermore, archaeologists, environmentalists, mining historians, libraries, national heritage organisations and government agencies will also find much of value in what has been an eagerly anticipated and major work.

Minerals of Britain and Ireland, by A G Tindle, Terra Publishing, Amsterdam (2008), 624 pages (hardback), ISBN: 978-1903544228

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