Extraordinary Editions

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Douglas’ Guernsey Lilly, originally published in 1725, was the first scientific work devoted to a single ornamental bulbous species.  Originally twinned with a treatise on the coffee bean it was enlarged and much altered and reprinted in 1727, focusing solely on the lilly.

In 1724 Douglas had received a gift of some bulbs from the Countess of Hertford from her garden at Marlborough. It was this gift that led to the publication of his monograph. There were hardly any contemporary botanists, gardeners or owners of famous gardens around London with whom Douglas was not acquainted and several of them play a part in his work.

The facsimile in this edition is based on the 1737 edition, which was itself printed from the same typesetting as the 1727 edition. The edition, lent by Rosemary de Sausmarez from the  Sausmarez Manor collection, was in excellent condition and has enabled the creation of this stunning copy.