Without a doubt this two volume work, written by the amateur American Herpetologist, L.M.Klauber, is a masterpiece of research.
Dated it may be (University of California Press 1956) but outstanding it still remains. When first published, after many years of dedicated and poverty stricken research Laurence Klauber, already well known in reptile loving circles for his immaculate research, became a world wide over night sensation. He had originally only meant to cobble together some Rattlesnake identity cards for naturalists in the field, His research however became endless and his family had to endure years of hardship, plus a basement full of live Rattlers that formed part of his study group! Eventually it all paid of and this monumental work was the result. The two volumes were soon being stocked by Universities everywhere and Laurence Klauber was, from then on, much in demand.
Here is a quick peek at some of the chapters and subjects covered in the books.-Check list of rattlesnakes, Key to the Rattlesnakes of Canada. Key to the Rattlesnakes East of the Mississippi River, Key to the Rattlesnakes West of the M river. Key to the rattlesnakes of Mexico.. California..Central and South America. and so on. Paleontology of the Rattlesnakes The rattle- function, origin of, sound of, speed of vibration. etc. The contents list is ten pages long and the two volumes cover everything and anything to do with Rattlesnakes and their effect on mankind.
The work is long out of print but Amazon can still find second hand copies for sale at various prices and conditions. I have personally been enamoured of the work since I hand copied notes from the Liverpool Reference Library copy, back in the 60's, before the wonder of photo copiers! I found my set on sale at Oxfam and advertised on Amazon at a most amazing low price. The set I now own was classed as "Used, Good condition". And I may say the two volumes are in very good condition. If you check you may still find some other copies are out there and becoming available.