“Undersea” By Rachel Carson

The Book Club of California continues to offer in-person and online programs and activities.

Hybrid events with in-person attendance and a streaming element are also held.

Equally engaging are “The Library Treasures,” which are regularly shared by librarian, Elizabeth Newsom.

Her latest missive for members alerts us to the availability of Undersea, by
Rachel L. Carson (Santa Rosa, CA: Nawakum Press, 2010).

Writes Newsom:

This volume reproduces the text of an essay by Rachel Carson from the September 1937 edition of the Atlantic Monthly in which she discusses the life experiences of sea animals. Carson had decided to become a marine biologist during a summer at Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory in Massachusetts while an undergraduate. She earned a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins, but the Depression and the death of her father ended her studies and made her responsible for supporting her family. She supplemented her income from the Bureau of Fisheries by writing articles for the Baltimore Sun on the natural history of the Chesapeake Bay. She published as R. L. Carson, to disguise her gender, until the Atlantic’s acceptance of Undersea, in which her full name was given in the “Contributor’s Column.” Undersea was the work that brought her to national attention and began her on the path of becoming one of the twentieth century’s foremost environmental science writers. As she says in this book’s epigraph,

If there is poetry in my book about the sea,
it is not because I deliberately put it there, but because
no one could write truthfully about the sea
and leave out the poetry.