19 November 2002
Jane Wells Loudon (1807-1858)
The Ladies' Flower-Garden of Ornamental Perennials. London: Bradbury & Evans for William Smith, 1844-1845. 2 volumes. Half-titles. 96 hand-coloured lithographic plates, printed by Day & Haghe. (Light spotting to about six plates in vol.I.). FIRST EDITION.
[Uniformly bound with:]
The Ladies' Flower-garden of Ornamental Annuals. London: Bradbury & Evans for William Smith, 1842. Half-title. 48 hand-coloured lithographic plates, printed by Day & Haghe. Second(?) edition.
The Ladies Flower-Garden of Ornamental Bulbous Plants. London: Bradbury & Evans for William Smith, 1844. Half-title. 58 hand-coloured lithographic plates, printed by Day & Haghe. (Light spoitting to about five plates, old dampstain to inner blank margins of final 21 leaves slightly affecting blank inner margins of final six plates.). Second(?) edition.
3 works in 4 volumes, 4° (280 x 217mm). Early-20th century green half morocco gilt by Bickers & Son, spines in six compartments with raised bands, lettered in the second and third, the others panelled and with centrally-placed flower-spray tool, top edges gilt (light scuffing to extremities, spines faded).
FINE CLEAN COPIES OF THREE OF THE WORKS FROM A HIGHLY POPULAR SERIES WHICH INFLUENCED A GENERATION OF VICTORIAN GARDENERS. Jane Webb married John Loudon (botanist, gardener, farmer and horticultural writer) in 1830, when she was 23 and he 47. He had sought her out after reviewing a copy of her first published novel The Mummy, a tale of the twenty-second century. They met in February 1830 and married on 14 September. By 1838 John Loudon was seriously in debt and Mrs. Loudon was prompted to write botanical works on her own account. The Ladies' Flower Garden of Ornamental Annuals appeared in 1840, and proved to be the first of an increasing flow of populist works to appear throughout the 1840's, the best known of which are The Ladies' Flower Garden of ornamental bulbous plants (1841), ..of ornamental perennials (2 vols., 1843-1844); ..of ornamental greenhouse plants (1848) and British Wild Flowers (1846). The second and third works in the present set are unusual in that they have title pages dated after the first publication dates: these are apparently unrecorded and may represent a second issue of the first editions rather than true second editions. Cf.BM(NH)III,p.1182; cf.Great Flower Books (1990) p.115; cf.Nissen BBI 1237, 1234 & 1235.
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