LOUDON, Jane (1807-1858). British Wild Flowers. London: James Nelson, 1859.

$ 825.00

LOUDON, Jane (1807-1858). British Wild Flowers. London: James Nelson, 1859. 

4to. (11.5 x 9 inches). Period half morocco and cloth, all edges gilt (later rebacking with earlier labels retained; light wear; foxing toward front and rear of volume; plates slightly browned with age). 60 hand-colored lithographs of flora.

Third edition. Reprinted. First edition originally issues in 20 parts in 1844-54. This handsome volume on British botany from one of the most celebrated female authors on the subject. ane Webb Loudon was a gardening novice upon her marriage to John C. Loudon, a well respected landscape gardener and writer. She gained much knowledge during her marriage by working in the garden with her husband, planting and experimenting and assisting in his research for his major work, "Encyclopedia of Gardening." It was during this time that she became aware of how technical most gardening books were, making it difficult for her to learn. Mrs. Loudon saw the need for an illustrated gardening book that would appeal to the average person. Taking a less traditional and more generally accessible approach to the subject, Loudon published her first gardening book, Instructions in Gardening for Ladies, in 1838. She followed this with a series of five titles, including the present work. "Loudon developed a simple formula for [her] works, combining a brief text with charming illustrations, an arrangement that appealed to her audience. For each plant a brief botanical description was provided, including its common name in English, its order and genus . some historical notes, and instructions regarding its cultivation . The illustrations to British Wild Flowers are enormously attractive" (Oak Spring Flora).
"British plants which are at once common and ornamental, as it is intended principally for the use of Ladies taking country walks, who may wish to know the names of flowers they meet with in the fields and hedgerows, and some particulars respecting them" (publisher's advertisement).