The Botanic Garden. A Poem In Two Parts. Part I. Containing The Economy Of Vegetation. The Third Edition. Part Ii. The Loves Of The Plants. A Poem. The Fourth Edition.
Printed for J. Johnson, St. Paul's Church-Yard.
1795 / 1794
With philosophical notes. parts i and ii in two volumes.
TWO VOLUMES. 4to. 9.75 x 12 inches. Part I, xx + 218 + 124 pp. +  pp. Directions to the Binder and advertisement; Part II,  + viii + 200 pp. +  pp. Directions to the Binder. Additional title page for Part I. Bound in quarter later cloth over original marbled boards; spine with contrasting black morocco title label, gilt. Deckled edges. A little wear to extremities, browning of fly leaves and scattered foxing, including some plates margins. Illustrated by 19 plates, including 2 frontispieces (Part I drawn by Henry Fuseli), one folding, 2 drawn by Fuseli and engraved by William Blake and 4 of the Portland Vase, not signed but attributed to Blake. Decorated by vignette at end of Proem, Part II. Copy lacks botanical plate, opposite p. 40. Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802) was a physician, natural philosopher, inventor and poet, and the grandfather of Charles Darwin. Associated with the Midland Enlightenment, he was a member of the Lunar Society of Birmingham and the Derby Philosophical Society. He set up practice in Lichfield and established the Botanical Society at Lichfield, to translate the Latin works of Carl Linnaeus. The first part of The Botanic Garden was originally entitled The Economy of Vegetation and the two parts having first appeared 1791 (Part I) and 1789 (Part II). This edition is notable for containing plates drawn by the artist Henry Fuseli (1761-1825), two of which were engraved and signed by William Blake, while the four engravings of the Portland Vase have also been attributed to Blake. Part II includes interludes featuring a dialogue between bookseller and poet. (ESTC T82162, T82155; Blake Books, 450, p.456-8; Blanch Henrey II, p.129-133 and III, 468-471 and 612-616).
[Stock No. 26229]