A Book of Roses. Pierre-Joseph Redoute, J. Ramsbottom.
A Book of Roses
A Book of Roses

A Book of Roses

Middlesex, England: Penguin Books Ltd., 1941. Second Printing. Hardcover. With vintage gift inscription; later gift inscription to Thomas Rain Crowe. "No flower has been so popular in the past as the rose, and, in spite of the introduction of other plants from all parts of the world, it retains its pre-eminence (sic). It is therefore easy to understand why it figures so largely in literature and art and plays its part even in history and religion. Many scientific treatises have been devoted to the description of the species and varieties of roses, several of them with illustrations. The most famous of them all is Les Roses by P(ierre) J(oseph) Redoute..." (from Historical Introduction by J. Ramsbottom, pg. 5) Reproductions of sixteen "colour" plates from the masterpiece by the iconic Belgian-French botanical illustrator Pierre Joseph Redoute (1759-1840), first published between 1817-1824. With a lengthy, scholarly introduction (quoted above) including descriptions of each plate by J. Ramsbottom. A charming production in illustrated hardcover boards (no dust jacket as issued) & sewn binding originally published in 1939 by Penguin Books Ltd. as a part of its "The King Penguin Books" series; this is a presumably second printing "Reprinted in 1941" as noted on copyright page. On blank front endpaper, there are two Christmas gift inscriptions, one dated 1942 ("Xmas 1942/ To Hannah from Phil") & below it from a half-century later: "Xmas 1992/ To Thomas from Nan/ with love." "Thomas" is Thomas Rain Crowe, the acclaimed poet & publisher who was at the center of the Baby Beat Generation/ Second San Francisco Renaissance during the 1970s (see our book, Starting from San Francisco, item No. 3071, Deluxe Edition No. 3075). This writer finds it fascinating that this edition was produced in England during the midst of World War II, & can imagine that first inscription being penned & presented by a brave RAF pilot or soldier to his new bride before dashing off to battle- who knows what history is embodied in this little volume? A most collectible relic of romanticism- who will purchase this & write the next chapter in its distinguished history? In relatively fine condition with mild rubbing, fading, browning & occasional spotting to front, back covers & spine; mild-to-moderate wear & some small-to-tiny bumps at edges & corners of same; moderate rubbing & spotting to edges of text block; some fading to dark-grey dyed upper edge of same. Interior very fine with only mild browning mostly at blank margins-edges of page leaves; light, sparse spotting at some of same. Fine. [Item #3838]

Price: $50.00