HILL, EDEN: OR, A COMPLEAT BODY OF GARDENING, -1757
3,000 - 5,000 GBP
bidding is closed
- Eden, or a Complete Body of Gardening. London: printed for T. Osborne, T. Trye, S. Crowder and H. Woodgate, -1757
Folio (421 x 525mm.), hand-coloured engraved allegorical frontispiece, 60 hand-coloured engraved botanical plates, contemporary speckled calf gilt, scattered spotting, upper joint splitting, very slightly rubbed with small repairs to spine ends
Authorship is often attributed to John Hill, whose name alone appears at the close of the dedication to the Earl of Bute in this edition and on the title of the enlarged second edition of 1773. Published in sixty numbers between 28 August 1756 and 18 November 1757 as a gardener’s calendar, Eden suggests the appropriate seasonal management of the flower, fruit, and kitchen gardens and nursery: "We shall treat Gardens from their Origin, Design, and first Construction, to the raising them to Perfection, and keeping them in that condition; and we shall consider, in our Course, their Products, whether of Use, Curiosity, or Beauty. These we shall describe in their several Seasons, suiting our Publications to the Time of their Appearance" (introduction). One of the less fortunate efforts at instruction, however, is a disquisition on the curative virtues of Atropa belladonna, one of Britain’s most toxic native plants (page 477). The index concludes with a humbling correction: "The Publick are to be informed, that since our Publication of the virtues ascribed to Deadly Nightshade, many Trials have been made but few have succeeded: it has no specifick Virtue against Cancers, and its Use may be harmful."