LOUDON, John Claudius (1783-1843). Observations on Laying out Farms in the Scotch Style, adapted to England, London: John Harding, 1812. 2° (358 x 262mm). Half title, 38 engraved and aquatint plates, 10 hand-coloured, some double-page and/or folding, text with wide margins. (2 plates with clean tears at folds, light marginal soiling.) Contemporary half calf (joints split but cords holding, head and tail of spine chipped, corners bumped, rubbed).
FIRST EDITION. Whilst convalescing at Pinner, after an attack of rheumatic fever, Loudon "was impressed by the inferiority of English to Scottish farming. He accordingly persuaded his father to join him in taking a lease of Wood Hall, near Pinner, and published a pamphlet entitled 'An Immediate and Effectual Mode of Raising the Rental of the Landed Property in England' [published in 1808]. In 1809 he rented the large farm of Tew Park, Oxfordshire, where he took pupils in agriculture, and by 1812 he had made a profit of 15,000l. He then threw up his farm, dismissed his pupils, and started on a continental tour": DNB. Strangely, the DNB does not mention the present work, published at 5 guineas, which describes in some detail the improvements carried out to both 'Tew Lodge Farm' and the farm at 'Woodhall', as well as a number of other examples. From the note at the end of the plate list, which starts "By reason of the distance of the Author from the plates" (and goes on to explain that only 38 plates are called for) it would appear that Loudon left on his tour before the work was completed. Perkins 1053.