HERBALL OR GENERAL HISTORIE OF PLANTES. Gathered by John Gerarde of London Master in Chirvrgerie, Very Much Enlarged by Thomas Johnson Citizen and Apothecarye of London

Gerarde John

Published by London Printed by Adam J. Slip et al 1633, 1633
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The scarce second edition, which is the first edited, greatly enlarged and corrected by Thomas Johnson. With engraved allegorical title-page by John Payne and with nearly 2800 woodcut illustrations throughout text. Folio, a superb, very large copy in a very handsome contemporary full calf binding, the boards with multiple ruled line borders, at some time expertly refurbished at the spine in perfect period style with tall, thick, raised bands ruled in blind, dark brown morocco label in one compartment gilt ruled and lettered. [xxxiv], 1631, index, table and errata. An extremely handsome copy of this scarce book, the antique covers with some minor expert refurbishment. Internally very fresh, crisp and clean, and with only very insignificant occasional evidence of age, one leaf of the table and final errata leaf with minor paper repairs not affecting the text. AN UNUSUALLY FINE AND TRULY EXCELLENT COPY OF THIS HIGHLY IMPORTANT PRINTING. A RARELY ENCOUNTERED COMPLETE COPY IN CONTEMPORARY BINDING of the great herbal of Gerarde, one of the finest and most important botanical works printed. John Gerarde served for some time as Master of the Barber-Surgeons company and was considered one of Englandís finest Herbalist. The title "Herbalist to James Ií appeared on many of his papers. Among his chief accomplishments was the establishment of a medicinal garden for the Barber-Surgeons but it was his great herbal which made his name a household word. In December of 1597 appeared the first folio volume of the herbal. The work contained more then 1800 woodcuts. Along with the more specific information such as names, genus and usage, it also gave the locations to hunt for scarce plants in England and, although primarily a scientific endeavor, it also included much folklore. The edition of 1633 was the first to be edited, enlarged and corrected by Thomas Johnson and was a tremendous success. This edition is essentially a reprint, word for word, issued only 3 years later. Johnsonís edition is considered a great improvement over the original, being half again as large as the original and in every way a superior printing. Johnsonís edition brings the number of plants described to over 2800 with more then 2700 being illustrated. Interestingly, this edition was of special importance in the New World. Far from the medical science of civilized Europe, the early American colonist had been forced to come up with a medical science all their own. This work, plus the herbal knowledge of the indigenous peoples, was the primary basis for early American medical studies. So important was it that the genus Gerardia was named for Gerard and of its 30 or so species most are North American. In our century, medical science has advanced to a degree Gerard could only have dreamed of, but it is just beginning to rediscover the value of botanicals in health care. The scientific groundwork established by Gerard over 400 years ago is once again of interest and importance. Gerarde's was "the best-known and most often quoted herbal in the English language. Its lasting repute is due not so much to its originality and accuracy, which are ofttimes questionable, as to its entertaining Elizabethan descriptive style, its interspersed anecdotes and comments, and antique remedies, and its woodcuts" (DSB).The apothecary Thomas Johnson was commissioned to revise Gerarde's original book within one year, a task he accomplished with marked success, adding a balanced and comprehensive historical introduction, and a set of 2766 woodcuts, several hundred more than previously. His revised edition appeared in 1633, and this third edition three years later. "The care bestowed by Johnson in correcting what Raven calls 'the errors of Gerard's book, the misplaced pictures, the confused species, the blunders of fact' and in adding much new material made his edition.a popular and standard work, which proved of especial value in promoting the study of the British flora well into the eighteenth cen. Bookseller Inventory # 23834

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Bibliographic Details


Publisher: London Printed by Adam J. Slip et al 1633

Publication Date: 1633

Binding: Hardcover

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