ELLEN ANN WILLMOTT (1858-1934)
The Genus Rosa. London: Hazell, Watson & Viney for John Murray, 1910-1914. 2 volumes, 2° (370 x 270mm). Three half-titles and three titles (2 of each in vol.II). 132 chromolithographic plates after Alfred William Parsons, 15 black-and-white plates, 68 full-page illustrations, all after Alfred Parsons. Green half calf, t.e.g.
FIRST EDITION. A FINE COPY, bound from the 25 original parts, issued between September 15, 1910 and March 14, 1914. Miss Willmott "was known throughout Europe between 1890 and 1914 for her richly stocked garden at Warley Place, near Brentwood, Essex" (W.T.Stearn. "Ellen Ann Willmott gardener and botanical rosarian", The Garden Journal of The Royal Horticultural Society June 1979, vol.104, part 6, pp.241-246). Her garden is a wilderness, her house demolished and her library dispersed. The Genus Rosa remains as a monument to Miss Willmott's "imperial heyday at Warley when she employed as many as eighty-five gardeners[.] With its wealth of illustrations specially painted for her by Alfred William Parsons (1847-1920) from plants in her garden, its Latin and and English descriptions mostly by the Kew botanist John Gilbert Baker (1834-1920) and its high standard of production, it stands as the twentieth-century counterpart of Redouté" (Stearn op. cit.). Parsons original drawings were purchased by Reginald Cory and bequeathed to the Lindley Library. Nissen BBI 2166. (2)