Sims Reed Rare Books×

Paradisi In Sole Paradisus Terrestris. Or A Garden of All Sorts of Pleasant Flowers Which Our English Ayre will Permitt to be Noursed Up: With a Kitchen Garden of All Manner of Herbes, Rootes, & Fruites, for Meate or Sause used with cus, and an Orchard of All Sorte of Fruitbearing Trees and Shrubbes Fit for Our Land: Together with the Right Orderinge, Planting & Preserving of Them and Their Uses & Vertues. Collected by John Parkinson. Apothecary of London

Parkinson, John

London. Humfrey Lownes & Robert Young. 1629
First edition, first issue of Parkinson's beautiful and notable English herbal.

John Parkinson (1567 - 1650), the last great British herbalist, was apothecary to James I and botanist to Charles I, who gave him the title 'Botanicus Regis Primarius' following publication of this work, dedicated to Charles' wife Henrietta Maria. The keeper of a famous garden at Long Acre, Parkinson divides his work into the flower, kitchen and orchard gardens: 'The Ordering of the Garden of Pleasure', 'The Garden of Pleasant Flowers', 'The Ordering of the Kitchen Garden' and 'The Ordering of the Orchard'. Each of the plants described in the text is assessed separately in terms of its situation ('The Place'), growth ('The Time'), nomenclature ('The Names') and uses ('The Vertues'). The charming full-page woodcuts, likely by the artist responsible for the frontispiece, the German A. Switzer (although he is uncredited for the plates), illustrate related plants and show foliage and flower, root and stem and depict more than 750 varieties (a considerable number of these are anemones and tulips). Included at the end of the work are the general index, the index of English names and the index of 'vertues & properties'.

Among other plants, Parkinson was the first to describe the Welsh poppy, the Strawberry tree and the Lady's Slipper, and his work gives an accurate and detailed view of both commercial, domestic and recreational gardening for the period. The Latin title 'Paradisi in Sole Paradisus Terrestris' is a pun - when translated into English - of the author's own name (The Terrestrial Paradise of Park in Sun / Parkinson).
[pp. (12), 612, (16)]. Small folio. (328 x 222 mm). Elaborate engraved title depicting Adam and Eve by A. Switzer, dedication 'To the Queenes Most Excellent Maiestie', two leaves with 'To the Courteous Reader', two leaves with accolades, verses and the woodcut portrait of Parkinson, Parkinson's text illustrated with 110 full-page woodcut plates and 3 smaller woodcut vignettes, all likely also by Switzer, four leaves with Index, two leaves with 'A Table of the English names' &c., two leaves with 'A Table of the Vertues and Properties' &c., final leaf verso with errata and colophon; English and Latin text with headline throughout, elaborate decorative head- and tail-pieces throughout with elaborate decorative and historiated initials of various sizes throughout, occasional contemporary annotations in sepia ink. Contemporary panelled sprinkled calf, boards ruled in blind to surround central mottled panel with tooling in blind with floral corner-pieces, banded spine in six compartments, board edges with roll tool decoration, red speckled edges.

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