Living Lights

Illustrations from Living Lights: A Popular Account of Phosphorescent Animals and Vegetables by Charles Frederick Holder (1887)


Holder (1851–1915) sounds like a real character. He was considered the "father of big-game fishing," wrote many books, and "In 1910, he traveled with Frederick Russell Burnham to Mexico and uncovered Mayan artifacts, including the Esperanza Stone, a supposedly paranormal relic described in [Fort's] Book of the Damned."


The illustrations are not credited in the book though some are signed "A. L. Clement."


View the whole book at archive.org. I think I first spotted this at Old Book Illustrations tumblr.



"Pyrosoma and Diver"


Reading like something from a Gustav Meyrink novel:

"Professor Moseley captured a Pyrosoma four feet long, ten inches in diameter, with walls an inch in thickness. It was placed upon the deck of the vessel, and, when the naturalist wrote his name upon the animal with his finger, it came out in letters of fire: each letter seeming to increase in size, until the entire name was lost in a blaze of light that radiated rapidly and soon suffused the entire animal, presenting a marvellous spectacle and showing, in a striking manner, how intimately the animals are connected."




"Sea Bottom"





"Luminous Protozoans"





"Luminous Insect / Luminous Mushrooms"





"Chiasmodus / Sun-Fish / Plagiodus / Harpodon / Beryx"





"Luminous Sea-Jelly and Mollusk"





"Venus' Girdle"





"Luminous Star Fishes"





"Burrow of Pholas / Sea Pen"





"Apolemia / Cleodora / Praya"






"Luminous Beetle (In burrow of Mole Cricket)"





"Spider Crab"





"Luminous Crustaceans"






"Luminous Umbellularia / Luminous Fish / Silicious Sponge / Luminous Crustacean / Luminous Corals"





"Luminous Fish. With two luminous disks, one emitting a golden, the other a greenish light."






"Pelican Fish"





"Luminous Beetles, etc." [a loaded "et cetera"]


From the facing page (reminding me of the hats of the poet-general's mossy troops in The Baron in the Trees):

"Gen. Count Dejean, aide-de-camp to Napolean, was a most enthusiastic collector of beetles; and it is even said of him that he would march his army out of its way to pass through a good collecting locality. At all times during the campaigns which he helped to render famous, his attention was not taken from his favorite occupation; and his military cap was invariably conspicuous from the gorgeous beetles that were there immolated. Every one in the army, from the emperor down to his men, was aware of what was termed his weakness; and the latter were constantly on the lookout for specimens for their commander. At the battle of Wagram, 1809, the general went into the combat with his hat as usual ornamented with beetles, which he had received that morning; and, while standing near the emperor, a shot from the enemy struck him upon the head, knocking him senseless, and destroying his collection, -- the hat being completely torn to pieces. The emperor, thinking him fatally wounded, hastened to his side, asking if he was still alive; upon which the general gasped out, "I am not dead; but, alas, my insects are all gone!"