Paradisi in Sole



[003754] Parkinson, John. Paradisi in Sole Paradisus Terrestris or a Choise Garden of All Sorts of Rarest Flowers, with Their Nature, Place of Birth, Time of Flowring, Names, and Vertues to Each Plant, Useful in Physick, or Admired for Beauty Etc Etc. ill. Switzer, A. London: Printed by R.N. and Sold by Richard Thrale, 1656. Second Edition. Folio. Full Calf. Fair. [12], 612pp, [16]. Contemporary calf, later rebacked, raised bands, spine in six panels, leather title label to second panel, remaining panels with central volute device in gilt

Leather to covers worn, corners lightly bumped. Pastedowns unstuck and front pastedown detached, with many pages, (something like a fifth of the total), very heavily browned though readable, and almost all of the rest of the text and images are browned and foxed to varying degrees, with almost none unaffected. Tear to top margin of B4; top corner missing from D3; small hole to I3 catching a small part of the image and a couple of letters to reverse but with no loss of sense; tear to top margin of K6 not affecting text; top corner missing from both Mm5 and Mm6; 3E4 missing a piece from the fore edge margin, again not affecting text and final blank with tear. Small booksellers label of Marks & Co. to reverse of front board. With both woodcut and letterpress titles

Parkinson’s famous gardening book, here “much corrected and enlarged”, (though with the same number of pages as the earlier editions), the woodcut title depicting the garden of Eden with Adam and Eve tending the flowers and a representation of the ‘Vegetable Lamb’ growing on a stalk, which was supposed to be both an animal and a living plant, and said to grow in Scythia (for a thorough description of this legend, see Rohde The Old English Herbals, pages 142-151). The illustrations are seemingly by Christopher Switzer (despite the A. Switzer signature on the woodcut title), and according to Henrey are “mostly new figures, but some are copied from previous works” (Henrey I, page 161). The work is divided into three parts, dealing with the flower garden, kitchen garden, and orchard. Henrey notes that its charm “lies in the author’s love of plants and his sensibility of their beauty, feelings strongly reflected throughout his writing” (Ibid, page 164)

First published in 1629, there was another edition in 1635 and then this 1656 edition. This is the more common of the two 1656 variants, with ‘S. Pauls-gate’ on the printed title

See Janson, Pomona’s Harvest, pages 397-8; Rothamsted, page 100; Oak Spring Flora 40; Pritzel 6933; Nissen 1489; Arents 169; Henrey 285