A former Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew) librarian relates the challenges that 17th-19th century authors faced in early book trade, nature print-making, and the impact of the New World on cataloging flora and fauna. Color plates and other illustrations are reproduced from such collectibles as Audubon's Birds of America and Thornton's The Temple of Flora. Among the most admired and rarest works ever created are the large-scale books of natural history. The detailed drawings and the remarkable color reproductions found in these magnificent editions truly astounded the art and book worlds. This book reveals the incredible stories behind these exceptional collector's books. Ray Desmond engagingly shares with the reader the dramatic behind-the-scene story of how these rare volumes were created. He conveys the hardships and sacrifices by the early artists whose works are forever preserved in these beautiful volumes.
This edition contains over 115 illustrations (69 in full color plates), which were carefully reproduced from the original plate pages at The British Library and other prominent archives. Co-published with The British Library