THE WILD GARLAND

May 2015

Or Prose and Poetry Connected with English Wild Flowers, Intended as an Embellishment to the Study of Botany.

A beautiful little book by Miss S Waring, author of ‘The Life of Linnæus, in a Series of Letters’ printed for Harvey and Darton, Gracechurch Street, London 1827

This book interests us for two reasons.

Firstly the prose and poems selected are sheer delight for any reader who is happy to be taken back to a time when description was simple, elegant and accurate.  He or she is reassured that indeed some things never change and where better than in an English wild flower meadow.  There are twelve hand coloured plates of which we show just two.  Of the book itself it is interesting to discover that Copac (the national and university library index) gives seven locations for this title in UK libraries all of which catalogue iv pages at the start where ours has vi.  Comparison with other copies at the Bodleian and in Cambridge suggests that ours is an early copy.

Secondly, ownership inscriptions in the front tell us that the book belonged originally to Elizabeth Harriet Cobbold of Eye, (1817-1910) #155 on the family tree, daughter of Robert Knipe Cobbold (1792-1859).  In 1837 Harriet married Canon Charles Shorting (1810-1864) and amongst their seven children was Henry Francis Shorting (1847-1919) whose daughter Edith (1871-1929) was the recipient of our book.  It is inscribed “

Edith K Shorting from Grandmama Shorting, August 25th 1887” the year of Edith’s 16th birthday.

 

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