Released as a limited edition of just 185 copies, at £375 each, strictly on a first come first served basis.
The edition comprises a stunning facsimile edition of Douglas’ Guernsey Lilly of 1737 and a separate comprehensive companion volume by academic botanist Dr. Helen Brock. The two volumes come complete in a cloth covered slipcase.
This highly unusual edition was put into production nearly a quarter of a century ago and we are delighted to have been able to bring it to completion.
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.
Dr Helen Brock has created a fascinating work, scouring the literature to produce a comprehensive account of the history and cultivation of the Guernsey lilly, which will delight all lovers of the lily and which brings the original treatise up to date.
She examines the plant’s early history, its arrival in Europe and especially into Guernsey, its genus and notable characteristics and its culture, as well as its botanical history and all the key figures in its history. To do so she has used a similar series of chapters to Douglas’ original work in a conscious echo of his work.
A keen scholar of the great Scottish doctor William Hunter, one of the great collectors of his age, Dr Brock had access to Hunter’s papers which contain a large collection of Douglas’s own papers, including a large number of records of Douglas’s observations on the Guernsey Lilly and these amplify his published work on the plant.
This edition began life in the early 1990’s nearly a quarter of a century ago
Dr Helen Brock having completed a paper on the Guernsey lily, submitted it to her publisher, whose editor suggested a facsimile copy of Douglas’s original manuscript be published alongside it.
Rosemary de Sausmarez who had helped Dr Brock’s researches lent her family’s excellent 1737 copy of Douglas’s Guernsey Lilly to the project.
Sadly the publisher, Leslie Hewitt, was taken ill and although the work continued and was proofed and printed, it was never finally published, languishing unbound for nearly 20 years.
The Clear Vue Publishing Partnership were delighted to be able to resurrect the project and Extraordinary Editions can now offer a limited edition of just 185 copies, to be sold strictly on a first come first served basis.
Clear Vue were also pleased to be able to dedicate the book to the memory of the three driving forces behind its production, none of whom lived to see its completion, Rosemary de Sausmarez, Helen Brock and Leslie Hewitt.
The 2012 Edition comprises two very different volumes.
The first is a full and complete facsimile of Douglas’s original 1737 edition based on the typesetting of the amended edition of the Guernsey Lilly of 1727, complete with all 3 fold out illustrations. Half bound in a very traditional binding of chocolate calf with a marbled, lily design, cover paper that is speckled with a gold sheen to emulate the lily itself.
The second is a new treatise and bibliography in a companion volume by academic botanist Dr Helen Brock, examining the history, cultivation and physiology of Nerine Sarniensis, bound, in contrast to the facsimile, in a very modern binding of pink book cloth, embossed in white with a picture of a Guernsey lily.
The two volumes are presented together in a chocolate book cloth covered slipcase.
THE GUERNSEY LILLY
£375 and £25 p&p in the UK and the Channel Islands