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265

Elizabeth Blackwell | A curious herbal, London, 1737-39, 2 volumes, brown half morocco

Elizabeth Blackwell | A curious herbal, London, 1737-39, 2 volumes, brown half morocco

Elizabeth Blackwell | A curious herbal, London, 1737-39, 2 volumes, brown half morocco

Authenticity guarantee

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Elizabeth Blackwell


A curious herbal, containing five hundred cuts of the most useful plants. London: Samuel Harding (volume 2: John Nourse), 1737-1739


LARGE PAPER COPY, 2 volumes, folio (480 x 300mm.), engraved throughout, 12 preliminary leaves including dedications, 500 hand-coloured plates, 4 index leaves, brown half morocco by John Gray, Cambridge, edges uncut, minor soiling at end of volume 2


ONE OF THE FIRST ENGLISH BOTANICAL BOOKS TO BE ISSUED IN PARTS AND ONE OF THE FIRST WITH HAND-COLOURED PLATES. This is one of several issues (see Henrey) of the first edition. Elizabeth Blackwell undertook the publication of her herbal at the suggestion of Sir Hans Sloane in order to ransom her husband from debtors’ prison. She took lodgings near the Chelsea Physic Garden where she drew and engraved the plants growing there. The book was a commercial success and she succeeded in freeing her husband, although to no avail: he was later executed for his part in a political assassination plot.


LITERATURE:

Dunthorne 42; Great Flower Books, p. 50; Henrey 453; Hunt 510; Nissen BBI 168; Stafleu TL2 545


PROVENANCE:

Constance Davison, bookplate

Minor soiling at end of volume 2


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