Observations upon some part of Sr Francis Bacon's Natural History as it concernes, Fruit-trees, Fruits, and Flowers:
AUSTEN Ralph (1658)
£1500.00 [First Edition]
EXPERIMENTS WITH ENGLISH FRUIT
especially the Fifth, Sixth, and Seaventh Centuries, Improving the Experiments mentioned, to the best Advantage.
First Edition. Small 4to (174 x 130mm). , 46, pp. A few small spots, occasionally closely cropped by the binder (touching a couple of side notes), verso of final leaf slightly browned. Disbound from a larger pamphlet volume and re-bound in marching calf-backed marbled boards, red leather spine label.
Oxford: by Henry Hall, for Thomas Robinson, 1658
Austen's critique of Francis Bacon based on his own practical horticultural experience. Dedicated to Robert Boyle and with much information on fruit cultivation and harvesting in England in the 17th century.
Ralph Austen (c.1612-1676) was a self-taught horticulturalist and radical puritan who believed that fruit-growing was the, "key to establishing the kingdom of heaven on earth" (ODNB). He was part of Samuel Hartlib's intellectual circle of correspondents. His most famous book, the "revolutionary manifesto and spiritual autobiography", Treatise of Fruit (first published 1653) was "one of the most systematic and detailed treatments of the subject published in England up to that time" (ODNB).
Provenance: Earls of Macclesfield, facsimile bookplate on the front pastedown. Disbound from a larger Macclesfield pamphlet volume. Not included in the Macclesfield sales at Sotheby's but instead retained and recently acquired by Maggs.
Stock Code: 243422