This is a small, 158-paged volume with 12 plates, consisting of 6 chapters: I. The Development of Microscopical Observation; II. Recognition of the Cell and the First Theories of Its Formation; III. Division of the Cell and of the Nucleus: The Formation of the Germ Cells and Their Fusion; IV. Theories of Inheritance Since Darwin and the Role of the Nucleus in Heredity; V. History of the Study of Cytoplasm, and VI. Cellular Theory in General Biology. Each of the chapters is followed by references to the literature.
The author's excellent knowledge of cytology was already evident from his previous volume, The Mitotic Cycle, published in 1952. He is obviously one of the select few who not only admires cytology but has the ability to generate a similar admiration in his readers. The picture he gives of the history of cytology was not painted with wide strokes of the brush.