Title: Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes
Publication Date: 1633
Edition: 1st Edition
GERARD, JOHN. The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes. London: By Adam Islip, Joice Norton, and Richard Whitakers, 1633. Folio. Engraved title, , 30, 29-30, 29-1630,  p. Illustrated with over 2500 woodcuts of plants. Early nineteenth-century panelled calf, neatly rebacked retaining original fully gilt spine. Title lightly soiled but complete and free of any repair, blank fore- and bottom edges of A4-5 neatly extended, a few marginal tears neatly closed, intermittant faint dampstain in top margin becoming a bit more noticeable toward the end of the text, marginal repair to 7A1 (index) costing several page numbers, blank lower corner of 7B5 replaced. A very good and most attractive copy, without the extensive repairing and sophistication that nearly always comes with early English herbals. With an ownership inscription and cost dated 1634. The first printing of the second and "best" edition of John Gerard's great English herbal, very extensively corrected and enlarged by Thomas Johnson from the original edition of 1597. John Gerard (1545-1612) was a barber-surgeon and horticulturist who based his work on Rembert Dodoens' earlier Stirpium Historiae Pemptades Sex and on his own extensive gardening experience. Thirty-six years later, when a new and more accurate edition was called for, Thomas Johnson, a well-known apothecary and botanist, was chosen for the task. Johnson wrote a lengthy new preface, "corrected many of Gerard's more gullible errors, and improved the accuracy of the illustrations by using Plantin's woodcuts." (Hunt) Johnson's improvements were so great that "Johnson's Gerard" quickly became the desired edition, and a second printing was done in 1636. Early English herbals have always been keenly sought by collectors, and they are normally found either imperfect or heavily repaired and sophisticated. The present copy is complete and with relatively minor restoration. Hunt 223; Henrey 155; Nissen 698; STC 11751. Bookseller Inventory # 13230
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