The Wonders of the Vegetable Kingdom Displayed. In a Series of Letters.
[ Roberts, Mary ].

London: Printed for G. and W.B. Whittaker, 1822. First edition of a work for young readers that connects botany to astronomy with chapters on the structure of a tree, sap vessels, the formation and function of leaves, names and functions of roots, different sorts of blossoms and nectaries, descriptions Hinges cracked, but sound. Small ” split to upper front joint and small 1” split to upper rear joint. Light offsetting from frontispiece. Minor foxing to gutter margins of a few leaves in signature I. The occasional small smudge. Contemporary ink signature on upper preliminary blank. A very good copy Later nineteenth century or early twentieth century full calf, boards doubled-ruled in gilt, gilt-tooled spine in six compartments with repeating leaf and vine pattern and green morocco label lettered in gilt. Octavo. viii, 243, [1, errata] p (Item ID: 16523)


Mary Roberts (1788-1864) was born to a Quaker family and her some of her ancestors included Quaker botanist Thomas Lawson (1630-1691) and the Quaker humorist John Roberts (1623-1684). Growing up in the countryside, Roberts developed an interest in natural history, which served as the basis for her best known work, Annals of My Village, which described the village of Sheepscombe and provided valuable insights into natural history and daily rural life at the turn of the nineteenth century. Her final work, A Popular History of the Mollusca, was published in 1851 (Oxford DNB).

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