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Silva: Or, a Discourse of Forest-Trees.

EVELYN (John).

EVELYN (John).

Silva: Or, a Discourse of Forest-Trees, and the Propogation of timber in his Majesty's Dominions: As it was delivered in the Royal Society on the 15th Day of October, 1662, Upon Occasion of certain Quaeries propounded to that illustrious Assembly, by the Honourable the Principal Officers and Commissioners of the Navy. Together with an Historical Account of the Sacredness and Use of Stainding Groves.... With Notes by A. Hunter, M.D. F.R.S.

Engraved frontispiece portrait of Evelyn by Bartolozzi, 40 plates (one folding) by J. Miller and a folding table.

4to. [300 x 240 x 75 mm]. [27]ff, 649, [10] pp. Newly bound in old-style sprinkled calf, the spine lettered on a green goatskin label and tooled in gilt, plain endleaves and edges.
York: by A. Ward, for J. Dodsley, T. Cadell, J. Robson, T. Durham, W. Creech and J. Balfour, 1776.

A very good clean copy of the first edition with Hunter's notes. This copy belonged to a subscriber, Thomas Rokeby, and has his subscription slip, signed by Hunter, bound in just before the list of subscribers. He paid two guineas for the book.

Sylva was originally published in London in 1664, as the first official publication of the Royal Society. "It contains an enormous amount of information concerning the cultivation of the various kinds of forest trees, and the uses of their timber, together with facts and anecdotes obtained from books, both classical and contemporary. The work was a success from the start. Its publication gave a great stimulus to planting in Britain. No other work on arboriculture exerted a greater influence on forestry in this country than Evelyn's Sylva".

"Hunter's edition of Sylva [is] a handsome quarto volume with extensive notes to bring it up to date and illustrated with a number of whole-page engravings. The [...] illustrations depicting the foliage, flower, and fruit of the trees described are drawn and engraved by John Miller, otherwise Johann Sebastian Mueller.... The excellence of these figures resulted in their being used to illustrate later works on silviculture, even up to the present day." - Henrey, British Botanical and Horticultural Literature before 1800.

[Bound with]

Evelyn (John)

Terra: A Philosophical Discourse of Earth. Relating to the Culture and Improvement of its Vegetation, and the Propogation of Plants, as it was presented to the Royal Society..... With Notes by A. Hunter, M.D. F.R.S.

Engraved plate of the Tartarian Lamb by Halfpenny.

4to. [4]ff, 74, [4], [9] pp.
York: by A. Ward, for J. Dodsley, T. Cadell, J. Robson, R. Baldwin, and J. Todd, 1787.

A few spots but a good copy.

Originally published in 1676 as A Philosophical Discourse of Earth. The first edition with Hunter's notes was published in York in 1778.

"His "dull Discourse of Earth, Mould and Soil, as [Evelyn] called it, may not appeal to our literary or aesthetic senses, for it deals strictly with earthy matters - kinds of soil, the characters of different kinds of dung, the science of stercoration, how to treat soil for every kind of cultivation, and so on; but it must have had a real value in its time, for it is an honest, practical treatise on matters of great importance to countrymen, and was based on the author's own observations and experience. Within the limitations of its period it merits the term "scientific", and was worthy of the Society that sponsored it" - Keynes.

Keynes also makes the point that Evelyn's "contemporary fame rested chiefly on his achievement as a gardener and afforestor".

Stock no. ebc2932

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Price: £1500