Silva: Or, A Discourse of Forest-Trees, and The Propagation of …
Silva: Or, A Discourse of Forest-Trees, and The Propagation of …

EVELYN, John. Silva: Or, A Discourse of Forest-Trees, and The Propagation of Timber in his Majesty's Dominions: As it was delivered in the Royal Society on the 15th….

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EVELYN, John. Silva: Or, A Discourse of Forest-Trees, and The Propagation of Timber in his Majesty's Dominions: As it was delivered in the Royal Society on the 15th Day of October, 1662, Upon Occasion of certain Quaeries propounded to that illustrious Assembly, by the Honourable the Principal Officers and Commissioners of the Navy. Together with an Historical Account of the Sacredness and Use of of Standing Groves. With Notes by A. Hunter, M.D. F.R.S. A. Ward for J. Dodsley, Pall-Mall; T. Cadell, in the Strand; J. Robson, New-Bond-Street; and T.Durham, Charing-Cross, London; W. Creech and J. Balfour, Edinburgh, 1776.

Royal 4to. Contemporary full brown calf, gilt borders to sides, spine with gilt rules and black morocco gilt lettering piece, marbled endpapers; pp. [liv] + 649, with an engraved portrait of the author, and 41 engraved plates, detailing the foliage of different species of British woodland tree, several folding, including the famous double-page plate, entitled "A Winter View of the Cawthorpe Oak", showing the huge tree offering shelter to a passing traveller; loose bookplate of previous owner, some rubbing to extremities, very clean internally, very good.
First "York" edition. First published in 1664, this is the most famous work of John Evelyn (1620-1706), diarist and gardener, and this is the best edition, for it comes with extra illustrations ( for instance, of the Greendale Oak at Welbeck through which a hole was cut to allow the passage of carriages) and notes. Evelyn's work was borne out of serious failings in England's economic and military policies. A huge shortage of wood for the Navy's shipbuilding programme, caused by the failure to replant trees being felled to fuel the growing glass and iron industries, meant that Evelyn's work was crucial. His work balanced an in-depth guide to the propagation of trees with a polemic on the importance of forestry to the future of the nation. Thankfully, his campaign succeeded, cementing the influence not only of Evelyn but the Royal Society as well. Keynes: "The book was given a fresh lease of life by the enthusiasm and industry of Dr Alexander Hunter of York. His mind was versatile like Evelyn's and he varied his medical work by becoming an expert on agriculture and forestry. Hunter's edition of Evelyn's Sylva, undertaken as a relaxation, proved to be a popular success, so that five editions were called for up to 1825." This edition was produced in much larger format than Evelyn's original, and is the most sought-after version of Evelyn's masterpiece on the English tree.
Keynes 47.

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