The Gardener's and Botanist's Dictionary containing the best and newest methods…
The Gardener's and Botanist's Dictionary containing the best and newest methods of cultivating and improving the kitchen, fruit. and Flower Garden, and Nursery; of performing the Practical Parts of Agriculture; of managing Vineyards, and of propagating all sorts of Timber Trees… The Whole Corrected and Newly Arranged.

London: F.C. and J. Rivington, et al. 1807.

Two volumes bound in four, folio, 15 engraved botanical plates, 5 engraved technical plates (depicting Pine Stove, Conservatory, Green House, Ice House and Vinery); a fine set handsomely bound in contemporary full russia gilt, marbled edges.

The South Seas edition: benchmark work on the natural history of the Pacific

A finely bound, handsome set of the South Seas edition of Miller's benchmark work of gardening and horticulture, the first to notice plants from Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific, and based in large part on the collection of Sir Joseph Banks.

A finely bound, handsome set of the South Seas edition of Miller's benchmark work of gardening and horticulture, the first to notice plants from Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific, and based in large part on the collection of Sir Joseph Banks.

Miller's work was the standard guide for over a century, and this 1807 edition, published almost forty years after the previous edition, was so substantially revised and updated by Thomas Martyn as to be effectively a new work. With its extensive notes on plants, agriculture, arboriculture, and wine making, this is 'a most valuable and practical work, probably used widely over nearly 100 years and the forerunner of later Gardening Dictionaries' (Sitwell & Blunt, Great Flower Books). The inclusion of a great number of Australian and Pacific plants marks this edition as a benchmark in the natural history of the region.

Miller was one of the most influential horticulturalists of his generation. He had established a nursery of ornamental trees and shrubs in St George's Fields, Southwark, and when, in 1722, the Society of Apothecaries needed a new gardener for their Physic Garden at Chelsea, he was appointed. It was the beginning of an illustrious career which saw him elected to the Royal Society; a good note on Miller is in Fussell's Old English Farming Books, pp. 123 ff.

This work was Miller's magnum opus and was highly praised by Linnaeus. First published in 1731, the last of the lifetime editions appeared in 1768 (Miller died in 1771). This new edition was the first in almost forty years, and was prepared by the botanist Thomas Martyn with unfettered access to the collections of great natural historians, including that of Sir Joseph Banks (to whom the work is dedicated). The son of John Martyn, professor of botany at Cambridge, Martyn was a keen scholar of the works of John Ray and Linnaeus, and succeeded his father as university professor of botany in 1762. He began working on this Gardener's Dictionary in 1784, radically updating the project with a new Linnean framework, and setting out to include as many of the new and exotic species as were then known in England. He originally estimated that it would take some eleven years to complete, but in the event, it was not issued until 1807, for the substantial price of fourteen guineas.

The comprehensive catalogue of plants in the first volume lists more than 50 specimens from "New Holland" and four more specifically from "New South Wales" : Casuarina Strieta and Torulosa; a species of Dolichos; and Sideroxylon sericeum ["Silky Iron-wood"]. The main volumes include lengthy entries on Banksias, Goodenias, Mimosas, Eucalypts and Melaleucas (separately).

Not in Ferguson but held in some Australian libraries.

Provenance: From the library of Sir Richard Colt Hoare (1758-1838) of Stourhead.

Brunet, III, 1717; Sitwell and Blunt, 'Great Flower Books', p. 68.

Price (AUD): $11,500.00  other currencies Ref: #4505064