Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry, as Well for the Champion, or Open Country, as for the Woodland or Several; together with A Book of Huswifery.
Seller ID: 853
London: Lackington, Allen and Co., 1812. Edited by William Mavor. New edition with 'notes georgical, illustrative, and explanatory' (328; table of Points, glossary, adverts.). Quarto, in full red leather, gilt titles to spine, five raised bands, titles in red. Thomas Tusser (1524- 1580) first published A Hundred Good Pointes of Husbandrie in 1557, the second printed book on farming published in English, after Fitzherbert's Husbandry (1523), and for the time something of a perennial best seller. In 1573 the text, much modified and expanded, was published in its final form as Five Hundred Points. McRae says, 'At the heart of the book is a calendar of information and advice about the farming year,' a device which originated with Tusser and which commonly appears in works on gardening and farming to this day. In the latter part of the book are the 'pointes of huswiferie loosely arranged around a working day; and framing these principal sections are a number of..poems, generally concerned with household management and rural customs.. Its publication in eighteen editions between 1557 and 1599 makes it probably the biggest selling book of poetry of the reign of Elizabeth I' (ODNB) and 'long the handbook of English country gentlemen' (McDonald quoted in Fussell). Indeed, in its conception and language Five Hundred Points addresses the farming family, whether landowner or tenant, who must get on with things, who must see to the round of daily chores, who must be guided by the season's turn, and who must be prepared to take urgent measures, such as burying dead cattle: Whatever thing dieth, go bury or burn, For tainting of ground, or worser ill turn; Such pestilent smell, or a carrenly thing, To cattle and people, great peril may bring. (36) This long-lived, rude Georgics, however well it sold, did not bring Tusser financial ease any more than his various farming projects, which never seemed quite to succeed, and Tusser relied on his talents as a singer to earn a spotty income as a choister at court and in the churches. As Fuller remarked, 'He spread his bread with all sorts of butter, yet none would stick thereon' (ODNB). Quite a lovely copy of Mavor's edition, with the bold signature of 'Sir Cecil Bisshopp, Bart.' (probably the 8th baronet of Parnham, 1753- 1828) on ffep. Its outer hinges are just starting and the endpapers are a bit foxed, but the binding is sound and the text, set in a handsome font, is clean and bright.
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