A Curious Herbal, Containing Five Hundred Cuts of the Most Useful Plants, which are now used in the Practice of Physick, Vol. I.

FCohen.jpg

Creator

Elizabeth Blackwell.

Title

A Curious Herbal, Containing Five Hundred Cuts of the Most Useful Plants, which are now used in the Practice of Physick, Vol. I.

Publisher

London: Printed for Samuel Harding,

Date

1737.

Description

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries few women authored botanical books. The author and illustrator that started me on collecting botanical books, Mrs. Loudon (Jane Wells), wrote books to pay off her husband’s debts. A century earlier, Elizabeth Blackwell had done the same. Blackwell also had the advantage of receiving advice and encouragement from prominent medical professionals and access to plants at the Chelsea Physic Garden. She not only drew and engraved the plates but also hand-colored them, three processes that were usually executed by separate artists.

During the eighteenth century, explorers finding hitherto unknown flora brought many of these plant specimens back to England. This drove a need by physicians and apothecaries for an herbal that described these new species. A Curious Herbal successfully met this need and also enabled Blackwell to free her husband from debtors’ prison.

Source

Fern Cohen

Tags

Citation

Elizabeth Blackwell. , “A Curious Herbal, Containing Five Hundred Cuts of the Most Useful Plants, which are now used in the Practice of Physick, Vol. I. ,” Grolier Club Exhibitions, accessed August 20, 2018, https://grolierclub.omeka.net/items/show/352.