The Narcissus: Its History and Culture.

London: L. Reeve & Co., 1875. First edition. Original Cloth. 8vo (24.5 x 16.5 cm) Original cloth boards with gilt title and author on spine and Narcissus on cover, spine slightly sunned. Marble end papers. Collation: [ix]-xvi [1]-95pp + 48 hand-colored, lithographic plates. Excellent study on the genus Narcissus with beautifully executed lithographic plates by Burbidge with contemporary hand coloring. This is a very good copy in original cloth. Very Good. Item #0000145

"Burbidge, Frederick William Thomas (1847&1905), horticultural writer and explorer, was born at Wymeswold, Leicestershire, on 21 March 1847, the son of Thomas Burbidge, farmer and fruit grower, and his wife, Mary Spencer. He was educated at village schools and entered the gardens of the Royal Horticultural Society at Cheswick as a student in 1868, proceeding in the same year to the Royal Gardens, Kew. Here he showed skill as a draughtsman and was partly employed in making drawings of plants in the herbarium. Leaving Kew in 1870 he joined the staff of Garden magazine where he stayed until 1877, writing under the pseudonym Veronica. He also wrote for The Floral Magazine. During this period he published a number of works including Cool Orchids and How to Grow Them (1874), [Narcissus: Its History and Culture(1875)]and Cultivated Plants, their Propagation and Improvement (1877). These works drew much appreciation from contemporaries including Gladstone. Many of the plates included were drawn by Burbidge himself.In 1877 he was sent by the nursery firm James Veitch & Sons as a collector to Borneo. He was absent for two years, during which time he also visited Johore, Brunei, and the Sulu Islands. He brought back many remarkable plants, especially: pitcher plants, such as Nepenthes rajah and N. bicalcarata; orchids, such as Cypripedium laurenceanum, Dendrobium burbidgei, andAërides burbidgei; and ferns, such as Alsophila burbidgei and Polypodium burbidgei. The chronicle of his journey was published in 1880 as The Gardens of the Sun, or, A Naturalist's Journal on the Mountains and in the Forests and Swamps of Borneo and the Sulu Archipelago. The first set of the dried specimens brought back by him numbered nearly a thousand species, and was presented by Veitch to the Kew herbarium. Sir Joseph Hooker named the scitamineous Burbidgea nitida 'in recognition of Burbidge's eminent services to horticulture, whether as a collector in Borneo, or as author of Cultivated Plants, their Propagation and Improvement, a work which should be in every gardener's library' (Botanical Magazine, 1879, tab 6403). Though of only moderate ability as a cultivator, Burbidge was noted for his horticultural writings and expert draughtsmanship." ( G. S. Boulger, rev. Alexander Goldbloom- ODNB).

Price: $1,400.00

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