Sunday, November 05, 2006

A New Herbal

Devotees of all things herbal might want to have a look at A New Herbal, or Historie of Plants, a facsimile edition of Henry Lyte's 1619 translation of Rembert Dodoens' 1554 Cruyde Boeck (hat tip: Gary Allen), Dedicated to “ the most high, noble, and renowned princesse, our most dread and redoubted Soueraigne Ladie, Elizabeth,” and with a helpful note to the “friendly and indifferent reader.” To date, I have been consulting Gerard’s Herball for most of my 16th century herbal needs. Gerard lifts unacknowledged passages from Doeden for almost every herb. There are many areas in which the herbals diverge. Gerard includes notes about his own garden, and omits details about the plants’ alchemical properties.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Kalyn said...

Ahhh, another book to add to the wish list. Interesting that even back then, people were borrowing from other sources.

I don't know when I'm coming to New York, but someday!

5:00 PM  
Anonymous lindy said...

Ah, I may need this. How are the drawings?
Did you know that William Morris had a beautiful original Gerard's? It was surprisingly (to me) large, with beautiful big illustrations-I saw it many years ago visiting his house/museum in Wathamstowe.
He apparently relied on it heavily in designing his floral patterns for wallpapers, illuminated letters, in his book illustrations, and the like.
I wish I had a bigger, clearer Gerard's copy, as the illustrations in my two replicas (a Dover and another-both abridged) are not reproduced especially well.

6:51 PM  
Blogger the chocolate lady said...

Kalyn, the full text is online, but not searchable, so you have to page through it some.

Lindy, I had not heard about Morris's Gerard. The pages I have seen so far from Lyte do not have illustrations, and the blackletter is hard to read. The first several pages have nifty illumination.

10:07 PM  

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