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Maria Sibylla Merian’s Caterpillar Book
Author: Kay Etheridge
The Flowering of Ecology presents an English translation of Maria Sybilla Merian’s 1679 ‘caterpillar’ book, Der Raupen wunderbare Verwandelung und sonderbare Blumen–Nahrung. Her processes in making the book and an analysis of its scientific content are presented in a historical context. Merian raised insects for five decades, recording the food plants, behavior and ecology of roughly 300 species. Her most influential invention was an “ecological” composition, where the metamorphic cycles of insects (usually moths and butterflies) were arrayed around plants that served as food for the caterpillars. Kay Etheridge analyses the 1679 caterpillar book from the viewpoint of a biologist, arguing that that Merian’s study of insect interactions with plants, the first of its kind, was a formative contribution to natural history.
Paintings, Drawings and Prints up to the Nineteenth Century
Authors: Sam Segal and Klara Alen
This richly illustrated book provides an overview of all known Dutch and Flemish artists up to the nineteenth century who painted or drew flower pieces, or else made prints of them. Unlike many mainstream art historical studies, the book takes a truly comprehensive approach, including cases where only a single example is known or even if nothing of the artist’s other work appears to have survived. Containing highly instructive lists identifying the names of flowers, as well as insects and other animals, the book also discusses the earliest depictions of flower still life and the distinctive characteristics behind the development of floral arrangements in different periods, including the variation of the flowers, the variety of techniques used by artists, as well as an exploration of the symbolism behind the numerous plant and animal species this form of art portrays.

Composed in Dutch, the text was translated into English by Judith Deitch and edited by Philip Kelleway.

Publication of this book was made possible thanks to generous support of:
• Dr. med. Bettina Leysen
• Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo and the Center for Netherlandish Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

With additional support of the M.A.O.C. Gravin van Bylandt Stichting.
In Crocologia – A Detailed Study of Saffron, the King of Plants, Sally Francis and Maria Teresa Ramandi present the first translation into English of Johann Ferdinand Hertodt’s seminal 1671 work Crocologia, a book uniquely devoted to the medical uses of saffron. Hertodt discusses saffron’s origin, related species, cultivation, selection, properties and lists all its pharmaceutical preparations. Hertodt then journeys through diseases of the human body, presenting saffron-containing formulae for their treatment.

The two authors complement the translation with a biography of Hertodt, and detail saffron’s botany, current production, uses, its changing reputation as a drug, and review findings from new medical research. There is a full Glossary, and translation of a contemporary animadversion of Crocologia by Hertodt’s rival, Wenzel Maximilian Ardensbach.
A Comprehensive History of Tea from Prehistoric Times to the Present Day
The Tale of Tea is the saga of globalisation. Tea gave birth to paper money, the Opium Wars and Hong Kong, triggered the Anglo-Dutch wars and the American war of independence, shaped the economies and military history of Táng and Sòng China and moulded Chinese art and culture. Whilst black tea dominates the global market today, such tea is a recent invention. No tea plantations existed in the world’s largest black tea producing countries, India, Kenya and Sri Lanka, when the Dutch and the English went to war about tea in the 17th century. This book replaces popular myths about tea with recondite knowledge on the hidden origins and detailed history of today’s globalised beverage in its many modern guises.
Collecting, Recording and Preserving the Natural World from the Fifteenth to the Twenty-First Century
Interposed between the natural world in all its diversity and the edited form in which we encounter it in literature, imagery and the museum, lie the multiple practices of the naturalists in selecting, recording and preserving the specimens from which our world view is to be reconstituted. The factors that weigh at every stage are here dissected, analysed and set within a historical narrative that spans more than five centuries. During that era, every aspect evolved and changed, as engagement with nature moved from a speculative pursuit heavily influenced by classical scholarship to a systematic science, drawing on advanced theory and technology. Far from being neutrally objective, the process of representing nature is shown as fraught with constraint and compromise.

With a Foreword by Sir David Attenborough

Contributors are: Marie Addyman, Peter Barnard, Paul D. Brinkman, Ian Convery, Peter Davis, Felix Driver, Florike Egmond, Annemarie Jordan Gschwend, Geoff Hancock, Stephen Harris, Hanna Hodacs, Stuart Houston, Dominik Huenniger, Rob Huxley, Charlie Jarvis, Malgosia Nowak-Kemp, Shepard Krech III, Mark Lawley, Arthur Lucas, Marco Masseti, Geoff Moore, Pat Morris, Charles Nelson, Robert Peck, Helen Scales, Han F. Vermeulen, and Glyn Williams.
Author: R. James Long
Complementing the growing list of editions and translations which have appeared in the series Aristoteles Semitico-Latinus, this is the first critical edition of Adam of Bockenfield’s commentary on the pseudo-Aristotelian treatise on plants. The leading Arts master at Oxford in the middle decades of the thirteenth century, Adam crafted a comprehensive and highly organized commentary, which enjoyed wide circulation on the continent. Professor Long’s introduction also explores the relationship between Adam’s commentary and the gloss that was the established classroom text at Oxford.
The Complete Botanical Watercolours of the 16th-Century Libri Picturati
Drawn after nature presents a vivid and complete picture of a unique historical collection of botanical watercolours. Botanists, art lovers, historians as well as the general public will enjoy this publication of the watercolours, their annotations and their history, but above all their supreme beauty and display of craftsmanship.
For over 300 years, the Preußische Staatsbibliothek in Berlin held a most remarkable collection of botanical watercolours. They were catalogued as part of the library’s illustrated manuscripts, or Libri Picturati. These magnificent works of art, rich in colour and detail, were made in the second half of the 16th century in the southern part of the Low Countries.
In the 1970s the complete set of watercolours had been rediscovered and sparked the interest of historians, art historians and botanists alike. Together they set out to unravel the many secrets still held by the Libri Picturati’s watercolours: who had collected them, and why?
A team of pre-eminent European scientists worked together on these and other intriguing questions surrounding the collection. They unveiled the important role played by the famous Dutch botanist Carolus Clusius, who later founded the University of Leiden’s Botanical Gardens.
Drawn after nature contains accessible and informative chapters on the collection’s history, but most importantly: it brings together all of the original 1429 watercolours and sketches, for the first time in one volume, accompanied by their original annotations.