This is a study of the formulation, some basic solutions, and applications of the Biot linearized quasistatic elasticity theory of fluid-infiltrated porous materials. Whereas most previously solved problems are based on idealizing the fluid and solid constituents as separately incompressible, full account is taken here of constituent compressibility. Previous studies are reviewed and the Biot constitutive equations relating strain and fluid mass content to stress and pore pressure are recast in terms of new material parameters, more directly open to physical interpretation as the Poisson ratio and induced pore pressure coefficient in undrained deformation. Different formulations of the coupled deformation/diffusion field equations and their analogues in coupled thermoelasticity are discussed, and a new formulation with stress and pore pressure as basic variables is presented that leads, for plane problems, to a convenient complex variable representation of solutions. The problems solved include those of the suddenly introduced edge dislocation and concentrated line force and of the suddenly pressurized cylindrical and spherical cavity. The dislocation solution is employed to represent that for quasi-static motions along a shear fault, and a discussion is given, based on fracture mechanics models for fault propagation, of phenomena involving coupled behavior between the rupturing solid and its pore fluid, which could serve to stabilize a fault against rapid spreading. Also, the solution for a pressurized cylindrical cavity leads to a time-dependent stress field near the cavity wall, and its relevance to time effects in the inception of hydraulic fractures from boreholes, or from drilled holes in laboratory specimens, is discussed. Various limiting cases are identified, and numerical values of the controlling porous media elastic parameters are given for several rocks.