(London: Printed for John Stockdale by T. Bensley, 1812). 300 x 235 mm. (11 3/4 x 9 1/4"). Two volumes. FIRST EDITION.
Recent taupe distressed leather, raised bands, brown morocco label. 60 BEAUTIFUL HAND-COLORED PLATES SHOWING 133 DIFFERENT PLANTS, engraved by F. Sansom after Sydenham Edwards. Pritzel 2622; Dunthorne 107; Sitwell, "Great Flower Books," p. 93 (under the title "New Flora Britannica"). Occasional light offsetting to opposite plates, isolated very minor marginal spotting, but A REALLY EXCELLENT COPY INTERNALLY, the text generally very clean and with ample margins, and the vibrant plates fresh and altogether pleasing, and in a sympathetic modern binding.
This is an appealing copy, with very comfortable margins, of a practical work on flower gardening that features a famous group of fine floral plates by perhaps the leading British botanical illustrator of the time. Sydenham Edwards (1769?-1819) was discovered and trained by William Curtis (1746-99), whose name will always be linked with "The Botanical Magazine," which he founded in 1787 and which was published for nearly 200 years. According to Henrey, Edwards was responsible for "many hundreds" of the "carefully executed" plates in the first 42 volumes of the magazine, which he left in 1815 to establish his own rival publication, "The Botanical Register." The beautiful colored plates in our volumes appeared under three different titles: first in 1807 in McDonald's "A Complete Dictionary of Practical Gardening," and then in 1812 with the title given above as well as the title "The New Flora Britannica." Dunthorne says that "the plates are well coloured, and many American flowers are included." But this is rather restrained praise. Unlike many botanical works where the majority of images are important more for their accuracy than their aesthetic merits, the present volume contains almost no plates that are not as beautiful as they are useful. (ST14358)
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PJP Catalog: 74.182