The Forests and Gardens of South India
The Forests and Gardens of South India

PLANTING - CLEGHORN, Hugh. The Forests and Gardens of South India.

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PLANTING - CLEGHORN, Hugh. The Forests and Gardens of South India. London, W.H. Allen & Co., 1861.

8vo. Original dark green cloth, covers and spine richly blocked in blind, spine titled in gilt, yellow endpapers; pp. xiv, [2], 412, [2, advertisements] with 13 lithographed plates, several folding by D. Hamilton, and a large folding lithographic map, partly hand-coloured, entitled: "Sketch Map of South India, Shewing The Distribution of Teak, Sal and Sandalwood", and with an inset map of "Teak Forests of Tenasserim Coast", wood-engraved illustrations in the text; light wear only to cloth, inner hinges repaired, a little offsetting from endpapers, several lithographs with browning and spotting internally, still a good copy of a great rarity.
First edition. This is a splendid and poignant attempt to rally support against the ravages of Indian deforestation: "It is a fact that moderate and prudent clearing is quite compatible with the maintenance of a profitable system of superintendence. The matter of complaint was, that throughout the Indian Empire large and valuable forest tacts were exposed to the careless rapacity of the native population, and especially unscrupulous contractors and traders, who cut and cleared them without reference to ultimate results...". Hugh Cleghorn was born in Madras in 1820 and became the leading naturalist and forest conservator of India in the 19th century. 'Cleghorn established the beginnings of a system of forest protection in Madras, though based largely on his own agenda, rooted in Scottish Enlightenment principles imbibed from his grandfather, allowing the maximum deforestation for plantations of quinine and coffee, and leaving the minimum forest necessary to protect watersheds and springs in the uplands' (ODNB).

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