Studies of Plant Life in Canada: or, Gleanings from Forest, Lake and Plain. Illustrated with Chromo-Lithographs from Drawings by Mrs. Chamberlin.

Ottawa. A.S. Woodburn, Printer and Publisher. 1885. tall8vo. 25cm. the first edition, ix,287p., photo-graphic frontis portrait and 9 full-colour chromolitho plates, index, in the original extra gilt decorated green cloth, bevelled boards, a.e.g., front endpaper is loose, some wear at the edges, text and plates are clean, a very good copy. (On). Item #40345

"It was not, until years after Thomas Traill's death on 21 June 1859, when she was at last established in the Lakefield cottage, Westove, arranged for her by Sam Strickland, that she had the opportunity to collaborate with her widowed niece Agnes Dunbar FitzGibbon [Moodie*], daughter of Susanna Moodie and like her mother a skilled illustrator of flowers. Agnes not only taught herself lithography but secured publication by John Lovell in 1868 of Canadian wildflowers, to which she contributed the illustrations and Catharine the text. The book was sold by subscription and went through at least four editions. The collaboration resumed years later when, in 1884, Agnes, then Mrs Chamberlin and settled in Ottawa, undertook negotiations for publication there of Catharine's fullest nature work, Studies of plant life in Canada; or, gleanings from forest, lake and plain (1885). A far more interesting and approachable book than its scientific title would seem to suggest, it led a friendly authority in Ottawa, James Fletcher*, to praise her descriptive skills as "one of the greatest botanical triumphs which [anyone] could achieve." Carl Clinton Berger has called the book "a splendid anachronism," directing attention not only to the delays in publication but to the spirited approach that characterizes Traill's inventories and her floral biographies. Though she was not a critical scientist she brought a passion to her study that has won her considerable admiration. Under less adverse circumstances her work might have been published earlier, thereby earning her a more significant place in the evolution of botanical studies in Canada. "DCB.

Price: $250.00

See all items by , ,