Maggs Bros Ltd

The Lady's and Gentleman's Botanical Pocket Book; adapted to Withering's arrangement of British Plants. Intended to facilitate and promote the study of indigenous botany. 

MAVOR William

£850.00 

Please contact us in advance if you would like to view this book at our Curzon Street shop.

Only Edition. 12mo x, [4], 186, [10] pp., with the engraved title-page, letterpress half-title, dedication leaf, advertisement leaf and two engraved plates (one colored). Title and half-title a little foxed (as usual), leaf A4 slightly shorter at the fore-margin (but with no missing text), manuscript notes throughout (see below), a few occasional uncut edges and some minor staining in places. Contemporary tree calf, covers with a single gilt filet border, smooth spine ruled and tooled in gilt, red morocco spine label (joints a little worn, corners and edges a little rubbed and bumped).

[London:] printed by J. Crowder, Warwick Square, [1800]

 

 

Contemporary newspaper advertisements show that the book was published on 15th February 1800. The book was apparently priced at 3s in boards, 4s 6d “neatly bound in the manner of a pocket book” and 6s 6d “in morocco, with pencil”. ESTC records BL, Cambridge, National Library of Scotland, Reading University Library in the U.K.; Huntington, Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Lloyd Library, New York Botanical Garden, Pennsylvania Hospital Medical Library and U.S. National Library of Medicine in the US. Owned and extensively annotated by a young female amateur botanist with over 150 manuscript entries. Mavor (1758-1837) apparently wrote the book for his eldest son to entertain him while he was ill. The pages of the book have intentionally large spaces so that the book can, as Mavor explains, "serve as a record of what plants each person in his researches has had an opportunity of discovering and examining. It will thus stimulate farther enquiry, by the facility with which every addition to our vegetable discoveries may be noted down; and it will infallibly gratify the young student, by affording a lasting remembrance of his diligence and application." (viii). In the preface to the book Mavor sadly remarks that his son - "an amiable and ingenious youth" is "now no more" (v). Provenance: 1. Presentation inscription on the front fly leaf reading: "Mary Pyndar / from Emma Baker / Areley May 17th 1816". Mary Pyndar has inscribed her name in the upper fore-corner of the title-page and placed her initials in the inner upper margin of the title-page. Mary Pyndar (1796-1893) was the daughter of Reginald Pyndar (1755-1831) rector of Madresfield, at Areley Kings, Wocestershire. Mary was born on the 23rd February 1796, the youngest of eight children.  There is a note by Mary on the verso of the front flyleaf that states that entries marked with an asterix are "flowers i did not find myself". This lends a nice image of other family members and friends who, knowing Mary's passion for plant spotting, would make records themselves and report back to her so she could make a note of them in her book.  Elizabeth Barrett-Browning mentions Mary and her family in a letter to Henrietta Cook in June 1852 when she remarks that Mary's sister, Lady Sherbrook along with her sister, have rented Hope End (Barrett-Browning’s childhood home) for three years. She writes: "she [Mrs Martin] tells me that Hope End is let for three years to Lady Sherbrooke & her sister Mary Pyndar, which she seems half sorry, as an "agreeable gentleman" would have been advantageous to Mr MArtin". Elizabeth Barrett-Browning had also met the Pyndar family some years before. We have handled a couple of other copies of this book but the present copy is certainly the most densely annotated and also in the nicest binding. 

Stock Code: 214147