Friday, April 20, 2012

Timely Herbals

The Grete Herball
We tend to think of herbals today as handy guide books for identifying the wild flowers growing in our backyards and woods, but herbals were among the first medical texts. Steeped in folk traditions and medical practice, herbals expounded on the "virtues" of various plants with an emphasis on their effects on the human body.

Fuchs' Herbal
We have a large collection of herbals dating from 1526 up to the mid-19th century.  For today, we offer images of the same plant from the first printed herbal in the English language, The Grete Herball (London: Peter Treveris, 1526); the more complete De Historia stirpivm commentarii insignes (Basileae: In officina Isingriniana, 1542) by Leonhart Fuchs; and the most popular English language herbal of the 17th century, John Gerard's The Herball (London: A. Islip).

Gerard's Herbal
To see them ask for QK99.G7 1526, QK41.F7 1542, and QK41.G3 1636

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