PARKINSON, John (1567-1650). Paradisi in sole Paradisus Terrestris. Or a Garden of all sorts of pleasant flowers... London: Humfrey Lownes and Robert Young, 1629.
2o (330 x 209 mm). Woodcut title with elaborate scene of the Garden of Eden, signed "A Switzer", woodcut author portrait, 108 full-page woodcuts each with numerous figures of plants, one full-page woodcut of garden designs, 3 small text woodcuts, woodcut head- and tail-pieces and initials. (Ink markings to V3r affecting woodcut, neatly repaired tear to 3E1, blank corner of 2Z2 torn away, a few other short marginal tears.) 17th-century English calf, sides panelled in blind, board edges ruled in gold, spine with gilt crowned fleuron tool and later lettering-piece (lower joint renewed, head and tail of spine restored, corners bumped, wear to joints and extremities). Provenance: William Charles de Meuron, Early Fitzwilliam (bookplate); Mittie Arnold (bookplate).
FIRST EDITION of the first important English treatise on horticulture. Parkinson was apothecary and botanist to Charles I. Of the nearly 1000 plants described in the Paradisus, which treats in detail the flower garden, kitchen garden and orchard, a large number grew in Parkinson's own garden at Long Acre. The book is filled with references to contemporary botanists and gardeners, and it provides one of the best single sources of information on gardening practices and styles in early 17th-century England, "in such a delightful, homey style that gardeners cherish it to the present day" (Hunt). Henrey 282; Hunt 215; Nissen BBI 1489; Pritzel 6933; STC 19300.