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This is an auction for THE BIG OYSTER: NEW YORK IN THE WORLD - A MOLLUSCULAR HISTORY, by Mark Kurlansky.

"Here's a chatty, free-wheeling history of New York City told from the humble perspective of the once copious, eagerly consumed, now decimated eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginicas). Research addict Kurlansky (Cod, etc.) starts from the earliest evidence of Lenape oyster middens, or beds, discovered by explorer Henry Hudson and others as evidence that natives enjoyed the shellfish as a delicacy, much as the Europeans did. When the Dutch arrived, the estuary of the lower Hudson, with its rich confluence of rivers, contained 350 square miles of oyster beds—"fully half of the world's oysters." The huge oyster stores contributed mightily to the mercantile wealth and natural renown of New Amsterdam, then inherited by the British, who were crazy about oysters; pickled oysters became an important trade with British West Indies slave plantations. While cheap, oysters appealed equally to the rich and poor, prompting famous establishments such as black-owned Downing's oyster cellar and Delmonico's (the enterprising author handily supplies historic recipes). The exhaustion of the city's oyster beds and pollution by sewage effectively eclipsed the consumption of local oysters by the 1920s, yet the lowly oyster still promotes the health of the waterways by its natural filtering system as well as indicating the purity of the water. Kurlansky's history digresses all over the place, and sparkles."
- a *** starred *** review in Publishers Weekly (US)

Paperback 2006.

307 pages.

Illustrations throughout.

Very good condition.

The cost of shipping is $4.95, or $6.95 by tracked mail. If you are on rural delivery and want tracked mail, the shipping cost will be $9.95.

There is of course no charge for shipping if you collect this book from my shop in Palmerston North following the auction.

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  • shipping via NZ Post$4.95
  • tracked mail$6.95
  • tracked mail for Rural Delivery (RD)$9.95
  • Seller allows pick-ups
  • Seller location: Palmerston North, Manawatu, NZ

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