Lisle, Edward and Thomas Lisle (Ed.).
Observations in Husbandry
Seller ID: 1375
London: J. Hughs, et al., 1757. Second edition, edited by Thomas Lisle, in two volumes (pp. frontis, 398, contents; 404, glossary, index). Octavo (20 cm) in full calf with traces of gilt decorations, gilt titles to spine; frontispiece portrait of Lisle. Although first published in 1757 (Our edition was preceded in the same year by a single volume quarto edition), according to Fussell Lisle's ms. had lain dormant for perhaps thirty years before his son Thomas decided to issue an edition of his father's carefully noted private account of the most successful farming practices of his time, the artful application of the findings of new science to traditional farming practice. Fussell quotes Donaldson approvingly, "Lisle was a very superior person, and promoted the art of agriculture.... He collected the best ways and put them forth to be imitated" (Agricultural Biography). Edward Lisle (1666- 1722) was a landowner with holdings in Wiltshire, on the Isle of Wight, and at Crux Easton in Hampshire where he settled "determined to make farming one of his chief occupations. In pursuance of this design, he made it his business wherever he went to make the acquaintance of the most reputable farmers and to get the best information he could in all the branches of husbandry known and practiced by them. He noted such opinions and advice... and later on added comments based on his own experience" (Fussell, The Old English Farming Books, 94). Given certain of his remarks in the introduction, it appears Lisle became convinced that husbandry, rightly valued and practiced, was fundamental to the well-being of the nation but that "we have no such honourable conceptions of a country life, as might engage our gentlemen of the greatest abilities in parts and learning, to live upon and direct the management of their estates." Indeed, Lisle saw the English countryside had come to resemble "the French model, here and there a great man, the rest all vassals and slaves." It may be these two volumes may not comprise precisely one set-- for example, one of the two volumes has sprinkled edges. The tips are worn through and the spine of one volume has seen skilful repairs. Nevertheless a clean, tight 'set'.
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