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Gosse started writing and illustrating this beautiful and important book after the death of his evangelist wife, Emily. His young son Edmund ('Willy' - the author of the biography 'Father & Son') sometimes helped him in the collecting and examination of specimens, and 'parcels of a soft and oozy character' occasionally arrived at the breakfast table, containing sea-anemones or corals collected from the shores around Britain by the many amateur collectors and enthusiasts. On p223, Gosse mentions the intrepid Miss Anne Church who goes dredging in Loch Long and collects an unusual specimen of sea-anemone that Gosse later names after her, Stomphia churchiae. I have fictionalised Anne Church in my novel 'Seaside Pleasures' (Ann Lingard; Littoralis Press), where she is a student on one of Gosse's shore classes, and becomes familiar with the Gosse family as a result.
acontia Actinia Adamsia Adherent to rocks Anemone animal Annals N. H. Anthea appearance aquarium bands base bellis body brown Caryophyllia cavity cilia cnida cnidce coast Cocks colour Columella cone conical contraction Corall corallites corallum corrugated Corynactis crassicornis cylindrical dark deep water DESCRIPTION dianthus disk and tentacles distended distinct edge epidermis exceeding the column expanded Falmouth furrowed genus gonidial Gosse Guernsey half height Holdsworth Ilfracombe inch in diameter integuments irregularly length lines lobes Locality longitudinal margin marked membrane mesembryanthemum mesentery miniata minute Morecambe Bay mouth nearly nivea numerous observed opaque white orifice outer pale parapet parasitica Peachia pellucid Phellia Plate polypes protruded radii retractile rows Sagartia scarlet seen septa shell side slender slightly smooth sometimes Specific Character specimens stomach studded suckers summit surface Tenby tentacles thick thin Torquay transverse troglodytes tubercles variety viduata wall warts Weymouth Weymouth Bay yellow Zool Zooph Zoophytes