Loudon, Jane

The Amateur Gardener's Calendar

  • First edition, presentation copy inscribed by the author on the half title, “Mrs. J. Campbell Foster from her sincere friend J. W. Loudon, Bayswater Nov. 12th 1857”.

    Author Jane Loudon (1807-1858) began writing to support her family after her father’s death. “In addition to Prose and Verse (1824) she published anonymously The Mummy! A Tale of the Twenty-Second Century (1827), a pioneering work of science fiction that brought together political commentary, Egyptomania, and interest in technology. References to a steam mowing device, telegraph, and other innovations led John Claudius Loudon (1783–1843) to review the book favourably and to seek out the acquaintance of the writer, whom he believed to be male. They met in February 1830, and on 14 September of that year Jane Webb married Loudon, then forty-six, who was an indefatigable landscape designer... Jane Loudon worked closely with her husband on his Gardener's Magazine.

    Embarrassed about how little she knew about plants when they married, she attended lectures in London given by the botanist John Lindley, and wrote up her notes as articles. During the 1830s and early 1840s she accompanied her husband on tours through England and into Scotland. She served as his amanuensis, recording his observations about kitchen gardens, conservatories, and great houses and their grounds, as he recommended improvements and endeavoured to promote a taste for gardening as art. When production of her husband's Arboretum (1838) saddled the family with debts of £10,000, Jane Loudon turned again to authorship, and tapped the ready Victorian market for books popularizing horticulture, botany, and natural history. Instructions in Gardening for Ladies (1840) was hugely successful; 1350 copies were sold on the day of publication alone. The Ladies' Flower-Garden of Ornamental Annuals (1840), the first in a much-reprinted series of informative illustrated books, was followed by others about bulbs, greenhouse plants, and perennials.” (ODNB).

    The present volume covers each month of the year, offering advice about must be done for the garden, flower beds, fruit trees, greenhouse, and nursery. Information is provided about choosing and cultivating plants, fighting pests, and gathering and preserving fruits and vegetables. It is illustrated throughout with attractive and detailed engravings. First editions in the original cloth in such nice condition are uncommon, as are inscribed copies. A lovely presentation copy by this significant female writer.

  • ...Being a monthly guide as to what should be avoided, as well as what should be done, in a garden in each month... With numerous illustrations... London: Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans, 1847.

    Octavo. Original green vertically ribbed cloth blocked elaborately blocked in blind with floral patterns, titles to spine gilt, patterned endpapers. Engravings throughout the text. 32 page publisher’s ads are rear. Spine tanned, short split in the upper hinge at the head of the spine, a few small bumps to the edges of the boards, contents faintly toned at the extremities. An excellent copy.

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