The Modern Improvements in Agriculture Containing the Principles of Tillage and Vegetation, and present Practice of the most skilful Husbandmen in the Culture of Corn and Pulse, and of the Grasses, Plants, and Roots for feeding Cattle: And a comparative V
Seller ID: 1072
London: J. Wilkie, 1774. First edition (vii, 158, Erratum). Octavo, three copperplate engravings (two folding) of farm implements (a horse hoe Forbes held in high regard), field lay-outs, etc. Association copy. With the neat signature on the title page of the first owner, 'Saml. Reynardson' of Holywell Hall. Forbes' general plan was to produce at intervals a series of treatises on agricultural improvements and farm management of which Modern Improvements was to be the first. As it happened, he did not live to see the completion of the project which included the subsequent Improvement of Waste Lands (1778), The Extensive Practice of the New Husbandry (1778?), and Miscellaneous Dissertations on Rural Subjects (1785). Fussell says of Forbes' books that they "are so very evidently literary compilations rather than the result of practical farming life" (113, More Old English Farming Books). This perception, however, apparently did not dawn on Samuel Reynardson (1704- 1797), or if it did, it did not dissuade him, for he has evidently read and carefully annotated the text, supplying notes from his own experience overseeing farming practices at Holywell House in Lincolnshire (now the country house of the Prince and Princess Galitzin) whose extensive ornamental gardens he is generally credited with designing. In fine modern binding by John Burbidge, tan calf over complimentary marbled paper, new endpapers a good match for untrimmed text block (new endpapers often appear too 'new'). A scarce book (Fussell had no luck finding a copy and had to rely on contemporary commentators who knew Forbes' work) with interesting associations.
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