Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections

Books on London

Title page, Gerard's Herball

Flora, Fauna & Natural Phenomena



While not the London collection's most extensive category, there are nonetheless several highlights to be mentioned. The earliest work is John Gerard's Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes, of which Bryn Mawr has the first edition of 1597 and the enlarged, second edition of 1633, both richly illustrated and the latter edited by botanist Thomas Johnson. Gerard, a London botanist, horticulturalist and barber-surgeon, whose own garden at Holborn contained "all the rare samples," did more than merely compile a list; he stressed the plant's medicinal qualities, drew attention to their ornamental and food values, and included extensive comments on culture and history. Apothecary of London and king's herbalist, John Parkinson, published a similar work in 1629, Paradisi in Sole Paradisus Terrestris, which emphasized those plants best-suited to the "English ayre" and land. Parkinson was a leading figure in the European botanical renaissance and Thomas Johnson is said to have gathered seeds at his famous garden in Long Acre, London. In addition to this first edition, the collection also includes the second, expanded edition of 1656. From the early nineteenth century, Bryn Mawr owns Robert Sweet's Hortus Suburbanus Londinensis, a catalogue of plants cultivated in London.

Diagram from Howard's Climate of LondonOn the subject of climate and meteorological observation, the collection has John Jeffries's Narrative of the Two Aerial Voyages of Doctor Jeffries with Mons. Blanchard (1786) and Luke Howard's Climate of London (1833). Jeffries, an American physician and scientist, who served as a surgeon with the British Army Man with gulls, from Seagulls in Londonduring the American Revolution, is best known for accompanying Jean-Pierre Blanchard on the first balloon flight across the English Channel in 1785. Of interest here, however, are his remarks and meteorological observations from a 1784 balloon trip from London to Kent. Howard was a London chemist, pharmacist and amateur meteorologist, credited with developing the basis for our current cloud classification.

Bryn Mawr's collection also includes several books on animals in the London context. The Tower Menagerie (1829) provides the natural history, as well as amusing anecdotes, of the animals housed in the Tower of London since the time of Edward I, before eventually being removed in 1834 to the London Zoo at Regent's Park. It is reportedly at the Tower's menagerie that William Blake saw the tiger that inspired his famous poem. From 1835 there is Edward Turner Bennett's Gardens and Menagerie of the Zoological Society Delineated; and finally, Birds in London (1898) and Seagulls in London (1922) from renowned writer, naturalist and ornithologist, William Henry Hudson. More than a sentimental naturalist of the Edwardian period, Hudson, who lived most of his adult life in London, aimed for the objective, scientific observation of animals, plants and people; he was a pioneer in the field of ecology and conservation and was especially concerned with the protection of living birds.


Bennett, Edward Turner, 1797-1836
The gardens and menagerie of the Zoological Society delineated / published with the sanction of the Council, under the superintendence of the secretary and vice-secretary of the society .
London : Printed by Maurice, Clark ... for the proprietors, published by Thomas Tegg [etc.], 1835
QL77.L8 B47 1835

Evelyn, John, 1620-1706
Directions for the gardiner at Says-Court, but which may be of use for other gardens [by] John Evelyn; edited by Geoffrey Keynes
[London] Nonesuch Press, 1932
SB453 .E8 1932

Gerard, John, 1545-1612
The Herball or Generall historie of plantes / Gathered by John Gerarde of London .
Imprinted at London : by Iohn Norton, 1597
fQK41 .G3 1597

Gerard, John, 1545-1612
The herball or Generall historie of plantes / Gathered by John Gerarde of London, master in chirvrgerie. Very much enlarged and amended by Thomas Johnson ..
London : Printed by Adam Islip, Joice Norton and Richard Whitakers, 1633
Uncat f620

Howard, Luke, 1772-1864
The climate of London : deduced from meteorological observations made in the metropolis and at various places around it / by Luke Howard
London : Harvey and Darton, J. and A. Arch, Longman, Hatchard, S. Highley [and] R. Hunter, 1833
QC989.G72 H6 1833

Hudson, W. H. (William Henry), 1841-1922
Birds in London / by W. H. Hudson
London : J. M. Dent, 1924
QL690.G7 H8 1924

Hudson, W. H. (William Henry), 1841-1922
Birds in London, by W. H. Hudson
London, New York, Longmans, Green, 1898
QL690.G7 H8 1898

Hudson, W. H. (William Henry), 1841-1922
Seagulls in London / by W. H. Hudson
[s. l.] : [C. K. Shorter], [1922]
PR6015.U23 L49 1907

Jeffries, John, 1745-1819
A narrative of the two aerial voyages of Doctor Jeffries with Mons. Blanchard : with meteorological observations and remarks : the first voyage, on the thirtieth of November, 1784 from London into Kent : the second, on the seventh of January, 1785, from England into France / by Doctor Jeffries
[New York : s.n., 1941]
TL620 .B6 J4 1786a

Jeffries, John, 1745-1819
A narrative of the two aerial voyages of Doctor Jeffries with Mons. Blanchard : with meteorological observations and remarks : the first voyage, on the thirtieth of November, 1784, from London into Kent : the second, on the seventh of January, 1785, from England into France / by Doctor Jeffries
London : Printed for the author and sold by J. Robson, 1786
TL620 .B6 J4 1786

Parkinson, John, 1567-1650
Paradisi In Sole Paradisus Terrestris : or, A Garden of all sorts of pleasant, flowers which our English ayre will permitt to be noursed vp: with A Kitchen garden of all manner of herbes, rootes & fruites, for meate or sause vsed with vs, and An Orchard of all sorte of fruitbearing Trees and shrubbes fit for our Land together With the right orderinge planting & preseruing of them and their vses & vertues / Collected by John Parkinson Apothecary of London 1629
[London : Printed by Hvmfrey Lownes and Robert Yovng at the signe of the Starre on Breadstreet hill, 1629]
fSB97 .P3 1629

Parkinson, John, 1567-1650
Paradisi in sole paradisvs terrestris : Or, A choise garden of all sorts of rarest flowers, with their nature, place of birth, time of flowring, names, and vertues to each plant, useful in physick, or admired for beauty. To which is annext a kitchin-garden furnished with all manner of herbs, roots, and fruits, for meat or sawce used with us. With the art of planting an orchard of all sorts of fruit-bearing trees and shrubs, shewing the nature of grafting, inoculating, and pruning of them. Together with the right ordering, planting and preserving of them, with their select vertues: all unmentioned in former herbals / Collected by John Parkinson ... The second impression much corrected and enlarged
London : Printed by R. N. and are to be sold by Richard Thrale ..., 1656
fSB97 .P3 1656

Sweet, Robert, 1783-1835
Hortus suburbanus Londinensis : or, A catalogue of plants cultivated in the neighborhood of London, arranged according to the Linnean system, with the addition of the natural orders to which they belong, references to books where they are described, their native places of growth, when introduced, time of flowering, and reference to figures / by Robert Sweet
London : Printed for J. Ridgway, 1818
QK306 .S9 1818

The Tower Menagerie : comprising the natural history of the animals contained in that establishment; with anecdotes of their characters and history / Illustrated by ... William Harvey .
London : Printed for Robert Jennings, 1829
Uncat 2995

Historical / Physical / Natural
Social / Cultural / Political