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EVELYN, John (1620--1706)
[Sylva. 1776]
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 quæries 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 standing groves. By John Evelyn, Esq; Fellow of the Royal Society. With notes by A. Hunter, M.D.F.R.S.
York printed by A. Ward for J. Dodsley; T. Cadell; J. Robson; and T. Durham, London. W. Creech and J. Balfour, Edinburgh, 1776.
[58], 649, [11] p., engr. frontis. port., [40] pl. (1 fold.), fold. letterpress table ; 29.9 cm. (4º)

First published in 1664 as the first work to be published by the Royal Society; the fourth edition was published at Evelyn's death in 1706 and a fifth in 1729. John Evelyn's Sylva was a pioneering work on the cultivation of trees aimed to encourage tree planting by landowners for the navy after the Civil War. The work was an offshoot of his unpublished encyclopaedic history of gardening, Elysium Britannicum, and introduced the word 'avenue' into the English language of landscaping. The popularity of Silva (the spelling used from the third edition, 1679) waned after its author's death; the book was then given a fresh lease of life by Dr Alexander Hunter of York, whose extensively annotated edition was published in August 1776, according to a proposal: 'Advertisement. On the 19th instant will be published, ... ' dated: 'August, 1776'. Hunter practised medicine in York but was also an authority on agriculture and forestry. See G. Keynes, John Evelyn: a study in bibliophily with a bibliography of his writings (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968), p. 138. Includes a list of subscribers and an index. The engraved frontispiece portrait of John Evelyn is by F. Bartolozzi, with 40 full page engraved plates (1 folding), mostly by John Miller, and a letterpress chart. ESTC n65711; Henrey, 137; Keynes, 47.

Copy Notes Title-page faintly inscribed in pencil J.S..

Binding C19th diced russia calf, thin-thick-thin gilt-ruled borders with gilt roll-tooled inner frame, diced and gilt-tooled spine and lettering, marbled endpapers, blue paste-coloured edges. Bound by Edward Lawrence for 18s. (Archives 7/4/20).

Reference Number 3877


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