LOUDON, Jane Wells (1807-1858)
The Ladies' Flower-Garden of Ornamental Annuals ... Second Edition
London: William S. Orr & Co., 1850. Quarto. (11 3/4 x 9 1/4 inches). Half title. 48 hand-coloured lithographed plates.
Publisher's green cloth gilt, illustration of a flower in gilt on upper cover, spine tooled in gilt, glazed yellow endpapers
Provenance: Frederick du Cane Godman (bookplate)
A fine copy of the second edition of a work from Mrs. Loudon's highly popular series. This work was extremely influential in forming the taste of a generation of mid-nineteenth century gardeners.
"Loudon developed a simple formula for these works, combining a brief text with charming illustrations, an arrangement that appealed to her audience. For each plant a brief botanical description was provided, including its common name in English, its order and genus ... some historical notes, and instructions regarding its cultivation" (An Oak Spring Flora p.326). Jane Loudon first began her series of popular botanical works in 1838 with the intention of alleviating the debt incurred by her husband, the renowned botanist, gardener, and horticultural writer John Loudon, whom she met after the publication of her best-selling novel The Mummy, Tales for the Twenty Second Century. Having had no prior training in botany, she first learned about horticulture after her marriage, when she assisted her husband with his Encyclopedia of Gardening (1834). Taking a less traditional and more generally accessible approach to the subject, Loudon published her first gardening book, Instructions in Gardening for Ladies, in 1838. She followed this up with a series of five linked titles that could also be viewed as separate works. The first work in the series was published in 1840 and was an immediate success, others followed.
Great Flower Books (1990) p.115; cf. Nissen BBI 1234 (first edition); cf. Pritzel 5632 (first edition).