LA QUINTINYE, Jean de (1624-1688); and John EVELYN (1620-1706)
The Compleat Gard'ner; Or, directions for cultivating and right ordering of fruit-gardens and kitchen gardens; with divers reflections on several parts of husbandry ... to which is added his treatise of orange-trees, with the raising of melons, omitted in the French editions. Made English by John Evelyn ...
London: Matthew Gillyflower and James Partridge, 1693. Folio. (12 3/8 x 7 7/8 inches). Engraved portrait frontispiece of La Quintinye by William Elder after Florent de La Mare-Richart. Title printed in red and black. , 1-15; 16-61; 62-183, 184-; 1-77; 78-116; 137-204, ; ; 80pp. With errors in pagination as issued. 11 engraved plates (2 double-page), 7 illustrations (3 engraved, 4 wood-cut), 8 engraved head-pieces.
Late 18th century marble paper-covered boards with vellum tips, rebacked to style.
First edition in English, translated by John Evelyn, with additions by him not found in the first edition in French.
"It was about the year 1670 that Monsieur de la Quintinye, Chief Director of all the gardens of the French King [Louis XIV], visited Evelyn at Sayes Court and inspected his gardens ... The English King ... tried, by the offer of a pension, to induce de la Quintinye to stay in England as superintendent of the Royal Gardens. He preferred, however, to remain in the service of his own king, and after his return to Paris gratified Evelyn by sending him 'some directions concerning the ordering of melons,' which he translated into English and distributed to his friends. De la Quintinye wrote his great work on gardening some years later, but did not live to put the finishing touches to his book, and this, Evelyn conjectured, was the reason for the omission of his remarks on melons and for some repetitions ... the qualities of the book induced Evelyn to undertake the immense task of translating it ... and he made good the omissions by including translations of de la Quintinye's 'Treatise of Orange Trees' and the notes on melons which had been sent" (Keynes).
There is some question as to how much of the work was actually translated by Evelyn. Keynes, based on a letter Evelyn sent to his brother, writes that, "It is evident ... that the responsibility for the translation was mainly Evelyn's, and the style is his." Henrey, on the other hand, notes that, "In the opinion of Hiscock the translation, as a whole, was undoubtedly the work of the King's gardener George London" who went on to publish the abridged version of this work in 1699.
Henrey I, 218; Keynes 103; Wing L-431.