In praise of Queen Anne (1722)

WARDER, Joseph

The true amazons: or, The monarchy of bees. Being a new discovery and improvement of those wonderful creatures. Wherein is experimentally demonstrated, I. That they are all govern'd by a queen. II. The amazing beauty and dignity of her person. III. Her extraordinary authority and power. IV. Their exceeding loyalty and unparallel'd love to their queen. V. Their sex, male and female. VI. The manner of their breeding. VII. Their wars. VIII. Their enemies, with directions plain and easy how to manage them, both in straw-hives and transparent boxes; so that with laying out but four or five pounds, in three or four years, if the summers are kind, you may get thirty or forty pounds per annum. Also how to make the English wine or mead, equal, if not superior, to the best of other wines.

Published: London, John Pemberton

Date: 1722

8vo (192 × 130 mm), pp. xiii, [1], 16, 120 ('To the Booksellers' misbound after dedication and contents); engraved frontispiece; bookplate of Robert, Lord Raymond to front pastedown, with his signature and date, 'June: 1724', to front free end paper; very good in contemporary calf, rubbed; sensitively rebacked.

Robert Raymond, 1st Baron Raymond (1673-1733) was a British judge; a barrister from 1697, admitted to Lincoln's Inn in 1710, and a Tory, he was appointed as Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench on 2 March 1725, which post he held until his death. He was raised to the peerage in 1731 as Lord Raymond, Baron of Abbots Langley. His signature, 1724, therefore predates the insertion of his baronial bookplate, which appears to be inscribed by another hand.

British Bee Books 74; ESTC T108628.

Fifth edition, the first to include the added letter from the author ‘concerning a late treatise upon the subject of bees.’ Warder's 'important and successful book … went through many editions and was translated into German and Italian.' As in Thorley's work, Warder is quick to draw political ammunition from his study of bees. The supreme beauty and dignity of the bees' sovereign monarch is fittingly contrasted with the obedience and loyalty of her subjects, in what turns into a kind of paean for monarchy: 'Oh, that all the Thousands of this Britannick-Israel were so loyal to our most gracious king George, who by all the sacred ties of law and nature, hath an undoubted right to; and by his boundless clemency and goodness doth in the highest manner deserve our utmost loyalty: where Britons, where is your boasted loyalty, that the very insects of your country reprove you?' (p. 44) Little wonder that Warder was keen to have his book dedicated to Queen Anne, which was duly done from the second edition onwards (1713). Something of Warder's character and reputation can be garnered from contemporary manuscript remains. H. J. O. Walker refers to an old manuscript note in his copy of the 5th edition: 'The author of this tract has been a Presbyterian, a Soldier, a Quack, and everything. But for Bees, I have been acquainted by some Gentlemen who have had ye curiosity to visit is Bee-hives, that no man in ye world did probably understand them better. (Walker, Descriptive catalogue of bee-books, 1929, p. 74) Concerning the material added to the fifth edition, the 'letter was in answer to the charge made by Nourse in [John Gedde's] The English apiary (1721-1722) that Warder had "largely transcribed from others". Warder rejects this charge indignantly, but in fact his hive is somewhat similar to Gedde's "transparent octagon". (British Bee Books, p. 71) This copy includes the frontispiece. Warder's book went through nine editions between 1712 and 1765.

Very good

Full calf