ATKINSON, James (1795-1834). An Account of the State of Agriculture & Grazing in New South Wales; including observations on the soils and general appearance of the country, and some of its most useful natural productions; with an account of the various methods of clearing and improving lands, breeding and grazing live stock, erecting buildings, the system of employing convicts, and the expense of labour generally; the mode of applying for grants for land; with other information important to those who are about to emigrate to that country: the result of several years' residence and practical experience in those matters in the colony, London: printed and published by J. Cross, 1826. 8° (225 x 140mm). Half title, errata slip, one-page publisher's advertisement at back, 4 hand-coloured aquatint plates, one folding, aquatint plan. (Folding plate shaved with some loss to imprint, neat repairs to folding map, some light browning or soiling to margins.) Original boards, letterpress title within type-ornament border on upper cover, letterpress list of contents on lower cover, titled in backstrip, uncut (rebacked with majority of original backstrip laid down), modern purple cloth box, label lettered in gilt on upper cover.
FIRST EDITION, 'fourteen shillings' issue including both the map and the folding panorama. An important work by "a gentleman of considerable literary attainments, and, as a practical agriculturalist ... second to none in the Colony" (Sydney Gazette 3 May 1834). According to Ferguson, the fine panorama of Port Jackson and Snr. T.M. Perry, writing in the DAB, recognized the worth of this work, 'for not only did it describe the methods practised in the colony at the time, but it emphasized the problems that all the colonists, knowingly or unknowingly, were facing: the problems of adapting European plants, animals and farming methods to a strange environment. With experience in Kentish farming and an active interest in the innovations of the 'agarian revolution', Atkinson was one of the progressive farmers who in writing and practice tried to raise the efficiency of farming in New South Wales'. Abbey Travel II, 572; Ferguson I, 1054.