The Natural History of Barbados.London: Printed for the author; and sold by most booksellers in Great Britain and Ireland, 1750 Stock Code: 110849
THE FIRST DESCRIPTION OF THE GRAPEFRUITFirst edition of this important and attractive early work on the natural history of Barbados, by the Welsh-born clergyman and naturalist Griffith Hughes (1707-1758?). "In Barbados, Hughes developed the idea of publishing a book on the island's natural history. In 1743 he visited London with the intention of promoting this work and ingratiated himself with the leading scientists of the day, men such as Sir Hans Sloane and Martin Folkes. Before returning home, he had arranged for the leading artist George Dionysius Ehret to prepare plates for his book. Because his plan was both interesting and ambitious, on Hughes's return to England in 1748 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society as well as receiving his BA and MA degrees from his old college. The Natural History of Barbados, a lavish production in folio... appeared in the spring of 1750" (ODNB). Hughes had also done an impressive job of drumming-up prestigious subscribers: the list is headed by the Prince and Princess of Wales and the Duke of Cumberland. Hughes recorded two notable firsts: the first description of a grapefruit, which he called "the Forbidden Fruit", and the first coining in print of the phrase "yellow fever" (p. 37).
Folio (340 x 215 mm). Recent half calf, old marbled paper sides, red speckled edges.
Folding engraved map by Thomas Jefferys, 30 engraved plates of flora and fauna by Mynde or G. Bickham after G. D. Ehret and others, 10 engraved headpieces (5 views of Bridgetown, each the same, and 5 engraved floral swags), wood-engraved head- and tailpie
Short closed-tear to map at stub, general foxing and toning, each plate with the name of the specimen depicted noted in a neat contemporary hand (outside the platemark). A good complete copy.
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