Small 4to., pp. , 34; a few headlines just shaved, but a very good copy in modern boards.
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Directions left by a Gentleman to his Sonns: for the Improvement of barren and heathy Land, in England and Wales.
Sole edition of one of the first books in English devoted to soil conservation. The dedication is signed Gabriel Reeve and dated from Hackney, 14 April 1670.
The advice he imparts is based on 30 years of experience in Brabant and Flanders. First devonshire the land [an unfamiliar verb meaning to pare off and burn the turf and weeds], then add lime, plough, harrow, and plant, for example, flax seed, weed, water, dry, swingle [flail] and beat the flax, and for labour of less than £10 you have a crop worth £40. Calculations follow for profits for the second to fifth year. As an afterthought there are instructions for planting walnuts.
Wing R 671.
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AGRICULTURE AND POPULATION WALKER, John.
An economical History of the Hebrides and Highlands of Scotland ... in two Volumes ... Edinburgh: Printed at the University Press; 1808.
First edition. The eminent naturalist John Walker (1731-1803), professor of natural history in the University of Edinburgh (Smollett was one of his students) and keeper of the university museum, made six long journeys into the Highlands and Islands from 1760 to 1786. He was commissioned by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland to enquire into the state of religion and by the Commissioners on the Annexed Estates to report on population, agriculture and manufactures. In the course of his travels Walker came to admire the inhabitants but regret that ‘the agriculture of these countries appears to have undergone but little improvement since the æra that domestic cattle and the cultivation of grain were first introduced; which happened probably in the third or fourth century’.