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Title details

Author:
Smith, James Edward (1759-1828).
Corporate author:
Main entry uniform title:
Uniform title:
Title:
English botany : or, coloured figures of British plants, with their essential characters, synonyms, and places of growth. To which will be added, occasional remarks / By James Sowerby, F.L.S.
Varying title form:
Rby's English botany Ral indexes to the thirty-six volumes of English botany
Soulsby no.:
Post-Soulsby no. 4894

Edition details

Publisher:
Printed for the author
Place of publication:
London
Publishing year:
1790 (-1814).
Edition:
1st edition.
Physical description:
36 vols. ; 23 cm.
Series entry:
Language(s):
English

Notes

General notes:
Plates 402 and 403 have, in the London copy, two leaves of text each, replacement pages of letterpress having been issued to correct a mistake. The original text for plate 402 described Arundo epigejos, which was "really represented in t. 403"; the revised text for 402 identified the plant as Phalaris arundinacea. The original text for plate 403 described Arundo calamagrostis, and this was replaced by a text for Arundo epigejos. Smith attributed the error to "Linnaeus having misquoted Scheuchzer under this and the Calamagrostis, [causing] them to be misunderstood". - On some text pages Smith added notes correcting the nomenclature of previous descriptions (these corrections are included in the attached plate lists). In one case this process involves the addition of an extra leaf: a note on the text for plate 2558 corrects the name for plate 480 from Myosotis scorpioides to Myosotis versicolor, and an intercalated leaf following corrects the name for plate 2558 from Myosotis arvensis to Myosotis collina.
Smith acknowledged that the selection of plants for illustration, in the early volumes at least, was in part determined by whether they had been published in Curtis's Flora Londinensis; in an effort to appeal to purchasers who might already have that work, emphasis was initially given to plants not included in it. Possibly as a result, more cryptogamic plants (including algae) are illustrated in this work than in any other illustrated English flora. It does not, however, include fungi, presumably because Sowerby was publishing his Coloured figures of fungi from 1797. - No single fascicule was devoted entirely to cryptogams, however, presumably for market considerations.
Harlow Carr set: Volumes 1-7 and 12-15 only held.
With the exception of the text for plates 16-18, which was written by George Shaw, the text was written in its entirety by James Edward Smith, though his name appears for the first time on the title-page of vol. 4.
Spine title: Sowerby's English Botany.
The first seven volumes state that the work was printed for the author, or for the proprietor. From volume 8, the proprietor is identified as James Sowerby. A variety of bookseller/publishers is named. Volumes 4 and 6 in this copy have revised title-pages from the first decade of the nineteenth century, and probably represent groupings of plates supplied in arrears to fill gaps in a set, with the title-pages bearing the names of the booksellers and printers dealing with publication at that time. - Full imprint statements for all volumes will be found in the attached document.
The plates are signed with the month of publication. At first three plates were signed per month, starting with November 1790; from October 1790 the number is more usually six. In later years the number increased to twelve, though the division of volumes frequently cuts halfway through a month's signatures. Sometimes plates issued in January are dated with the previous year.
Contents notes:
Each volume has a title-page, three indexes, and 72 leaves of coloured plates (2592 in all), each accompanied by a leaf of text. There are prefaces by J.E. Smith in vols. 4 and 7. In vol. 36 of the London set is bound a complete set of the general indexes for the 36 volumes: Latin names, English names, and systematical index, together with the "Index to English fungi, including five numbers of supplement".
Provenance:
London copy: Reginald Cory bequest, 1936. Bought by Cory from Sothebys, February 1925, for £28 as noted in pencil inscription on front free endpaper verso of vol. I. - Title-page of vol. I bears ink inscription: "Ex Bibliotheca B. C. Du Mortier 7.10.24.". Pencilled annotation on text for plate 605. Harlow Carr set: Engraved bookplate of John Waterhouse, Halifax affixed to front pastedowns.
Title history:
Language notes:
With note:
Dissertation notes:
Subject:
Flora
Algae
Mosses
Lichens
18th century.
19th century.
Classification system: Linnaeus.
Great Britain.
England
Additional author(s):
Smith, George
(1751-1813).
Shaw, George
(1751-1813).
Cory, Reginald Radcliffe
(1871-1934)
Du Mortier, Barthélemy Charles Joseph
(1797-1878)
Additional corporate author(s):
Arding and Merrett (London, England)
Jonas Davis (London, England)
Richard Taylor (London, England)
Wilks and Taylor (London, England)
Charles Dilly (London, England)
Joseph Johnson (London, England)
Benjamin White (London, England)
Sherwood, Neely and Jones (London, England)
Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown and Green (London, England)
Henry Delahoy Symonds (London, England)
Additional title(s):
OPAC identifier:
Collective uniform title:
Summary notes:
Other notes:
London set: Rare Books Room shelves 9-11
Wisley set : shelved in WISRARE 8° sequence, vols 1-22 shelf 1B-3. vols 23-34 shelf 1B-4.
London copy: Reginald Cory bequest, 1936. Wisley copy: gift from Dr H. D. Cockburn, March 1999.
London copy. Bound in half green sheep with green pebble-grain cloth over boards. Blind double fillets at leather edges. Spines with five raised bands flanked by gilt double fillets; gilt spine titles: SOWERBY'S / ENGLISH / BOTANY // VOL. / I [&c]. Top-edges gilt. Endpapers marbled in red peacock pattern.
Wisley copy. Bound in half tan calf with blue-green cloth over boards. Blind double fillets at leather edges. Rounded spines divided into panels by gilt dotted rolls. Double lettering-pieces in red and green morocco with gilt dotted rolls and titles: ENGLISH / BOTANY // 1. 2. / 1-144 [&c, each volume bearing two volume numbers and the quantity of plates within]. Red speckled edges; top-edges stained.
Condition noted; 20080214. Vol. II shows water stains in latter part of volume, affecting plate 159 in particular. Vol. III shows water stains intermittently throughout, plate 146 worst affected; also more evident water damage to boards esp. at lower corner of front board. Vol. VI has minor water stains at top-edges of some pages, and leaves 415-422 are browned and stained, though little of this staining can be observed on the accompanying plates. Vol. VI:initial and final leaves show green discolouration at corners from leaching of pigment from leather; the same can be seen in vol. VII, and rear endpapers are damaged by adhesion. Pigment deterioration on plates 425, 644. Vol. XI: Foxing on plate 735-6 and accompanying text. Vol. XIII: water-staining and resulting stiffness of paper at front of volume, with text for plate 872 the worst affected; plate 917 and facing text somewhat grubby. Vol. XIV: staining and offsetting at plate 1004; small marginal hole in plate 977. Vol. XV: water-staining heavy on prelims, and intermittently at margins thereafter, extending into text with minor discoloration to plates from plate 1065 on. Vol. XVI: water-staining and resulting cockling in first half of volume, especially at upper edges; staining heaviest on plates 1091-2 and adjacent texts. Two small marginal perforations in text accompanying plate 1135. Vol. XVII: spotting on text and to a lesser extent on plates, 1168-70. Green discoloration at upper corner of final leaves.
Condition noted; 20130806. All volumes very rubbed. Vol. I: very rubbed; front and rear endpapers split along hinge; rear pastedown lifting from board. Vol. II: rubbed; top of spine rubbed and torn; lower third of front endpaper split along hinge; rear endpaper split along hinge. Vol. III: rubbed; bottom of spine and top left corner very rubbed; front and rear endpapers split along hinge; front pastedown lifting at lower corner. Vol. IV: some rubbing, esp. on spine; front and rear endpapers split along hinge; top right corner of rear pastedown torn off and stuck to top left corner of free endpaper. Vol. V: edges and corners rubbed; front endpaper split along hinge; rear endpaper cracked along hinge. Vol. VI: rubbed; lower corners worn; lateral tearing at spine edge of front board; front board and endpaper split along hinge, exposing cords; rear endpaper split; rear pastedown torn off in two places and stuck to free endpaper. Vol. VII: rubbed; front endpaper split along length of hinge; cracking of rear endpaper along hinge; several portions of rear pastedown adhered to free endpaper. Vol. VIII: corner pieces rubbed; front endpaper split along length of hinge; rear endpaper cracking. Vol. IX: rubbed; front endpaper cracked, split in lower quarter; rear endpaper cracking; rear pastedown bubbled. Vol. X: rubbed; front endpaper split along length of hinge; rear board and endpaper split, exposing sewing; rear pastedown bubbled. Vol. XI: slightly rubbed; front endpaper cracked, split in lower third. Vol. XII: slightly rubbed; front endpaper split along length of hinge; adhesions from rear pastedown on rear free endpaper. Vol. XIII: slightly rubbed, esp. at top left corner of spine; front endpaper split along length of hinge; two tears in rear endpaper along line of hinge. Vol. XIV: rubbed; front endpaper split in lower three-quarters; small split (1 cm) in rear endpaper along hinge; portion of rear pastedown adhered to free endpaper. Vol. XV: slightly rubbed; top of spine rubbed; splits in front endpaper along length of hinge. Vol. XVI: slightly rubbed, esp. top of spine; lateral tears near base of spine on front board; splits in front endpaper along line of hinge. Vol. XVII: slightly rubbed; splits in front endpaper along length of hinge; portion of front pastedown torn off and stuck to front endpaper. Vol. XVIII: slightly rubbed; split in front endpaper in lower quarter; top and base of rear endpaper split. Vol. XIX: water damage to boards; front endpaper split along length of hinge; small split at top of rear endpaper. Vol. XX: very slightly rubbed; front board, fly-leaf and title split along length of hinge; adhesion from rear pastedown onto free endpaper. Vol. XXI: upper corner of rear board shows lateral tearing; upper corner of front board very worn; front and rear pastedowns bubbled; front board, fly-leaf and title split along length of hinge. Vol. XXII: slightly rubbed, with lateral tear near spine edge of lower front board; both endpapers cracked along line of hinge, split in lower third. Vol. XXIII: slightly rubbed. Vol. XXIV: slightly rubbed; top right corner of front board rubbed, lateral tear along bottom-edge; split along lower half of hinge after front board, fly-leaf and title; rear pastedown bubbled, with much loss of surface by adhesion to free endpaper. Vol. XXV: rubbed, esp. top left corner of front board; front endpaper split along length of hinge; short split in rear endpaper; adhesions from rear pastedown on endpaper. Vol. XXVI: rubbed, esp. top left corner of spine, small lateral tear near base of spine; some splits in front endpaper along line of hinge; rear endpaper cracked and split in places. Vol. XXVII: rubbed, esp. top left corner of spine, small lateral tear near base of spine; front endpaper cracked along line of hinge, with title-page tearing at gutter ? from fly-leaf in lower third, from first place in central third; rear endpaper cracked, and final gathering splitting from text block along hinge (spine visible in top third); adhesions from pastedown on endpaper. Vol. XXVIII: rubbed, esp. top left corner of spine, small lateral tear near base of spine; prelims split from text block along hinge; adhesions from pastedown on both front and rear endpapers; final gathering splitting from text block along hinge. Vol. XXIX: rubbed, with lateral tear at top left corner of spine; adhesions from front pastedown onto endpaper; front endpaper cracked with short splits. Vol. XXX: rubbed, esp. top left corner of spine; adhesions from front and rear pastedowns onto endpapers; front endpaper cracked, with small tears at bottom and top; small split on rear endpaper at base of hinge. Vol. XXXI: rubbed, with lateral tears at left top and bottom of spine; front and rear endpapers with small splits near base of hinge; some adhesions from front pastedown. Vol. XXXII: rubbed; small splits near base of hinge on front endpaper and top of hinge on rear. Vol. XXXIII: slightly rubbed; edge of cloth lifting on rear board; front endpaper cracked along line of hinge. Vol. XXXIV: rubbed; lateral tearing on upper corner of rear board; cloth lifting on fore-edge of rear board (old water damage); front and rear endpapers have short splits along line of hinge; rear pastedown bubbled; final gathering split from text block along lower half of hinge. Vol. XXXV: rubbed, esp. at top corners of spine; short splits along line of hinge at bottom of front endpaper and top of rear. Vol. XXXVI: rubbed, with lateral tearing at top right corner of spine; corners worn; front endpaper split along length of hinge; rear endpaper split along lower third of hinge; crease on final leaf.
BE, 2.2.2008.dah/3.03.21
1 2 5
London copy: plates 1602 and 2348, and the text for plate 1253, have been bound facing the wrong way. The text leaf for plate 1984 is folded at the base, as the text runs longer than on other leaves. - On the text for plate 2473, the epithet "ferrugineum" has been pasted over the original "aeruginosum".