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Joseph Banks' Florilegium: Botanical Treasures from Cook's First Voyage
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Mel Gooding David Mabberley
Joseph Banks' Florilegium: Botanical Treasures from Cook's First Voyage by Mel Gooding at Abbey's Bookshop,

Joseph Banks' Florilegium: Botanical Treasures from Cook's First Voyage

Mel Gooding David Mabberley Joe Studholme


Thames & Hudson

Botanical art;
Mathematics & Sciences;
Trees, wildflowers & plants


320 pages

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ABBEY’S BOOKSELLER PICK —— When Banks returned from Cook’s first voyage, he commissioned 743 engravings taken from plant specimens he and his team had collected in South America, the Pacific, Australia and Java. Not published in his lifetime, and finally printed in 1990 as a limited run, this is the first time there has been an edition for general buyers. It has been beautifully bound, on high quality stock and contains 147 exquisitely detailed prints. With excellent commentaries on the specimens and their place in botany, as well as general text about the voyage and Bank’s achievements, this is a magnificent, desirable and outstanding book. Lindy Jones


Joseph Banks accompanied Captain Cook on his first voyage round the world from 1768 to 1771. A gifted and wealthy young naturalist, Banks collected exotic flora from Madeira, Brazil, Tierra del Fuego, the Society Islands, New Zealand, Australia and Java, bringing back over 1300 species that had never been seen or studied by Europeans. 

On his return, Banks commissioned over 700 superlative engravings between 1772 and 1784. Known collectively as Banks' Florilegium, they are some of the most precise and exquisite examples of botanical illustration ever created. The Florilegium was never published in Banks' lifetime, and it was not until 1990 that a complete set in colour was issued in a boxed edition (limited to 100 copies) under the direction of the British Museum (Natural History). 

It is from these prints that the present selection is made, directed by David Mabberley, who has provided expert botanical commentaries, with additional texts by art historian Mel Gooding, setting the works in context as a perfect conjunction of nature, science and art. 

An afterword by Joseph Studholme describes the history of the modern printing.

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By:   Mel Gooding, David Mabberley, Joe Studholme
Imprint:   Thames & Hudson
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 355mm,  Width: 265mm, 
Weight:   2.440kg
ISBN:   9780500519363
ISBN 10:   0500519366
Pages:   320
Publication Date:   October 2017
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

The Making of Banks' Florilegium I: The voyage of Endeavour, Mel Gooding * The Plates, David Mabberley * The Making of Banks' Florilegium II: The Florilegium, 1772-1990, Mel Gooding * The Modern Printing of the Florilegium, Joe Studholme

Dazzling in its detail and copiously annotated by modern experts, a beautiful tribute to a scientific expedition that is still yielding knowledge more than two centuries after it was undertaken.

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