As New in dustwrapper. Cloth, 4to, 30 cm, 176 pp, ills. From the blurb: "Amongst the greatest books ever created are the large-scale works of natural history, researched and written by apothecaries, scientists and others for whom the study of the natural world was a consuming passion. Plant and animal specimens, which had to be found or collected before they could be described and illustrated, frequently involved travel abroad, sometimes under difficult and hazardous conditions. In order to reduce the production costs of ambitiously conceived books, some authors drew the plates themselves and learned how to engrave them. Influential patrons could help struggling authors but recruiting a sufficient number of subscribers was crucial for any book's survival. Some books were never completed, others beggared their authors, and a few appeared posthumously. Such books are now amongst the rarest and most sought-after by today's collectors-for example, Besler's Hortus Eystettensis, Thornton's Temple of Flora, Audubon's Birds of America and Sibthorp's Flora Graeca. The stories behind a selection of such books are engagingly told by Ray Desmond, with many beautifully reproduced colour plates from original copies in The British Library and other major archives." Contents include: 1 The book trade; 2 The discovery of the New World; 3 Investigating the flora of Asia; 4 A garden at Eichstätt; 5 Some early nurserymen's catalogues; 6 Professor Beringer's fossils; 7 A curious tale; 8 Banks's florilegium; 9 William Curtis; 10 The Temple of Flora; 11 The Birds of America; 12 Flora Graeca; 13 Flora Danica; 14 Nature printing and related methods; 15 Clerics as authors; Bibliography; Index. From a review in Lirary Culture: ". a wonderful book full of engaging stories that is beautifully designed and printed..".
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