HOOKER, William Jackson

Journal of a Tour in Iceland in The Summer of 1809 ["Not Published" (at foot of title)]

Published: Yarmouth: Printed by J. Keymer

Date: 1811

first edition tall 8vo. (iii)-lvii, 496, [6 (index)], [1 (errata & directions to binder)]pp., hand coloured frontispiece, 3 plates (of which 2 are folding), diagrams in text, sympathetic modern contemporary-style half mid-tan diced 'Russia', spine panelled by broad gilt rolled and highlighted raised bands, large gilt tool at panel centres and direct gilt lettered, old marbled paper on sides,

The first book, in its uncommon first private issue, of one of the great nineteenth century botanists. Hooker (1785–1865), botanist, had an early interest in natural history which was encouraged by his father and as a youth he got to know the principal naturalists in native East Anglia including Sir James Edward Smith (1759–1828) owner of Linnaeus's herbarium and library, Dawson Turner (1775–1858) the banker and botanist, and Sir Joseph Banks (1743–1820), president of the Royal Society. "In 1805 Hooker made his first important botanical discovery when he found a species of moss not previously recorded in Britain ... He studied mainly mosses, liverworts, and ferns, and became an expert in a difficult group of liverworts, the Jungermanniae, on which in 1816 he published a monograph. On his election to the Linnean Society of London in 1806 Hooker felt committed to a life of botany ... [and] in 1809 he went to Iceland to make a botanical survey for Banks; his collections were lost in a fire at sea on the way home but with the aid of Banks's notes from his own journey there in 1772 Hooker was able to produce an account which was published in 1811. Sir James Smith named a new genus of mosses (Hookeria) after him." [O.D.N.B.] In 1812 he was elected F.R.S. and in 1820 was appointed Professor of Botany at Glasgow University. Having transformed the botany department he was then in 1841 was appointed the first full-time director of the Royal G ardens at Kew and under his leadership that institution expanded rapidly. He published widely on botanical subjects.

attractive and very unobtrusive old stamp of Belfast Library on top marginal corner of p.(v), a few minor internal stains, some light foxing and dustiness, else a very good copy in an attractive binding.


Offered by P & B Rowan