Elizabeth Twining (1805-1889)
Illustrations of the Natural Orders of Plants. Arranged in groups; With Descriptions. London: [vol.I] Joseph Cundall; [vol.II] Savill & Edwards for Day & Son, 1849-1855. 2 volumes, 2° (490 x 328mm). 160 hand-coloured lithographic plates, heightened with gum arabic, by and after Twining, printed by Day & Son. (Light spotting or browning to title of vol.I, about fifteen plates and text leaves, text leaf to plate 119 in vol.II with small tears at lower blank margin.) Contemporary green morocco gilt, g.e. (spine discoloured, extremities scuffed, particularly along the joints).Provenance: Richard Meux Benson (1825-1915, inscription dated Teddington 6 July 1857, noting the gift of the book from his mother); Society of St.John the Evangelist (blind-stamp); Benson family (by descent to:); Lt.Col. John Roxby Erle Benson (1903-1999, Cheselbourne Manor, Dorset, sale 1999).
FIRST EDITION. The fine plates depict plants arranged by botanical families using de Candolle's classification. Where a family is known to include a British member this is included, and each plate includes between two and seven members of each family. This method produces fascinating groupings of plants seldom seen together: British with Amazonian, Italian with Himalayan, etc. The plants are generally arranged with a fine artistic sensibility on the plate, but clearly retain a careful regard scientific accuracy. Elizabeth Twining, philanthropist, educator and botanist, was a member of the famous tea-merchant family. Besides being the author of numerous religious and philanthropic writings, she also wrote a number of botanical works, the present being the most remarkable. A second edition, an octavo with the plates reduced and printed in colours was published in 1868. Great Flower Books (1990) p.145; Nissen BBI 2018; Pritzel 9591; Stafleu & Cowan 15.410. (2)