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Book Details

[DARWIN (Erasmus)]. The Botanic Garden; A Poem, in Two Parts. Part I. Containing the Economy of Vegetation. Part II. The Loves of the Plants. With Philosophical Notes.1791

London: Printed for J. Johnson, 4to (260 x 205 mm), 2 parts in one, first part the first edition, the second part is a third edition, [4], vii-xii, 214, 126, [2]; [2], ix, [1], 197, [1]pp., engraved frontispieces and 18 plates (5 folding), of which 5 plates by William Blake, occasional offsetting, signatures L & M misbound (part 2), scattered faint spotting, marbled endpapers, contemporary full red morocco, single gilt fillet border to boards, smooth spine, seven gilt tooled bands producing 6 compartments, upper compartment with the Arnold crest - a demi tiger regardant bezanty holding a pheon, next compartment gilt lettered direct, some light rubbing to extremities, otherwise a very nice copy. Epic poetic tribute to the lives, loves, and reproductive capacity of plants by the grandfather of Charles Darwin. Darwin's Botanic Garden is important for the five plates in part I which are engraved by William Blake: 'The Fertilization of Egypt,' engraved after the painting by Henry Fuseli, and four engravings of the Portland Vase. "The chief source of Erasmus Darwin's literary fame during his lifetime, The Botanic Garden contains a great deal of important and frequently advanced scientific information in the nearly 300 footnotes and the 115 pages of appendices to its verses..."— The Encyclopaedia Britannica. Provenance: Armorial bookplate of George Henry Arnold (1791-1844) to font paste-down; later bookplate of Ralph Hermon Major.

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