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ANTIQUARIAN BOOK

The Farmer's Magazine, and Useful Family Companion.

[SYLVAN (Agricola) - pseud.].

[SYLVAN (Agricola) - pseud.].

The Farmer's Magazine, and Useful Family Companion. Consisting of Practical Essays, Dissertations, and Remarks, on the Different Branches of Husbandry, Including a great Variety of Modern Improvements; A Miscellaneous Collection of Valuable Family Receipts, Recommended from Experience; Useful Hints and curious Observations from the Philosophical Transactions, the Society for the Encouragment of Arts, &c. Abridgments of the New Turnpike, Highway, Game and Poor Laws; With some select Pieces of Poetry; And a candid Review of every New Treatise on Agriculture, Gardening, &c. Volume I [-V]. Illustrated with Copper-plates. By Agricola Sylvan, Gentleman.

Vol.1 with folding frontispiece and eight plates; vol.2 with folding frontispiece and five plates; vol.3 with folding frontispiece and three plates; vol.4 with seven plates; vol.5 with folding "General Directions for the Driver of the Rolling Waggon" and folding table. Woodcut headpieces.

5 volumes. 8vo. [vol.1: 209 x 129 x 28 mm; vols.2-5: 229 x 140 x 130 mm]. 48, [3], 44-396, [4] pp; 200, [199]-294, 303-310, 303-435, [3] pp; 216, [209]-397, [3] pp; 382, [2] pp; 32, [16], 33-360 pp. Vol. 1 bound in contemporary half calf, marbled paper sides, smooth spine divided into six panels by a gilt chain pallet, lettered in the second on a red goatskin label and numbered in fourth, plain endleaves and edges (rubbed); vols 2-5 bound in contemporary quarter calf, marbled paper sides, the spines divided into six panels and lettered in the second on a red goatskin label, plain endleaves, uncut edges. (Label on vol.3 defective, headcaps chipped, rubbed).
Vol. 1: Printed for R. Snagg, No.129 Fleet-Street, London, and R. Cruttwell in Bath, 1776. Vols. 2-5: Printed for W. Goldsmith, No.24 Pater-Noster Row, London; and R. Cruttwell in Bath, 1777-[1780]

The full set of five volumes, although vol.1 is in a different binding, with cut edges. They are made up of parts, issued monthly between April 1776 and December 1780. Vols. 1-4 have separate title-pages dated 1776, 1777, 1778 and 1779, but there is no title-page in vol.5. ESTC has three entries for the work which between them locate nine copies : British Library, Wellcome Institute, Huntington; Bodleian, New York Public Library, U.S. National Agricultural Library, University of Texas; Bodleian, University of London.

Although the bindings are rather rubbed, and the label on vol.3 is defective, they are very good copies, with just a little light spotting to pp. 135-160 in vol.5. In the same volume eight leaves from another agricultural work have been bound in between pp.32 and 33.

ESTC also adds a helpful note: "Articles on farming and rural life, including information on world wide agricultural practices, country by country, with specific advice on crops, new machinery, and costs and profits. Includes poetry selections, reviews of new books, occasional correspondence" and "Tables show weather, crop yields, prices, farm expenses". Fussell, More Old English Farming Books, from Tull to the Board of Agriculture 1731 to 1793, notes that Donald McDonald claimed that "Agricola Sylvan" was a pseudonym used by Henry Home, Lord Kames, but then adds "on what grounds I do not know"!

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