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STEUART, Sir Henry (1759–1836)

Planter's guide the removal of large trees and underwood ... being an attempt to place the art, and that of general arboriculture, on phytological and fixed principles ... originally intended for the the climate of Scotland ... second edition, greatly improved and enlarged

London: John Murray (printed by Ballantyne and company), 1828
8vo: pp. [viii] xxxvii[1] 527 and ‘Advertisement’ slip at foot of half-title. Printed on laid paper.
6 steel engraved plates by Miller after W. Turner
Condition: 225 x 140mm, untrimmed. Plates foxed.
Binding: Original green cloth backed drab boards, printed paper spine label.
Second edition (first edition in the same year). A third edition was printed in 1848.
Bibliography: Raphael 44.
£450

Steuart's ‘preservation system’ for moving large trees was based on a study of their physiology, balancing the quantity of branches and roots, transporting selected trees slowly and gently on an appropriate vehicle, and watering and composting the trees in their new situations. Though this was perhaps not as original as Steuart supposed – he even took the trouble to insert a printed slip in this second edition warning against imposters who were claiming to have learnt the art from him at first hand – the book was apparently popular. Raphael quotes Sir Walter Scott's entry in his journal after meeting the author in January 1829: ‘Sir Henry is a sad coxcomb, and lifted beyond the solid earth by the effect of his book's success. But the book well deserves it.’
The wording on the titlepage of the first edition was ‘chiefly intended for the climate of Scotland’, changed to ‘originally intended ... ‘ in this edition. In his preface to the new edition, Steuart says that, believing that nine out of ten readers stopped short of reading his footnotes in smaller type, he has incorporated most of them in the text.