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THE NATURAL HISTORY OF BARBADOS.
Hughes, Reverend Mr Griffith.

THE NATURAL HISTORY OF BARBADOS.

In Ten Books. London: Printed for the Author 1750.
1st Ed. Folio. 24cm x 36cm. [iv] + [x] Subscribers + [ii] Contents + vii + 314pp. + [viii] Glossary + [viii] Index + [iv] Addenda. Folding frontis. map by Thos. Jefferys, 30 copper plates each with the coat of arms of a Subscriber, dec. initial letters head and tail pieces, engraved chapter headings. Some light browning, marbled e.ps., handsomely rebound in period style calf with intricate gilt fillet to edges of boards, intricate gilt extra spine with gilt lettered title labels to spine, enclosed in cloth slipcase. The subscribers include Lord Anson, Ralph Allen, Dr Johnson, Dr Nathaniel Lloyd, Sir Hans Sloane, Thomas Cadogan, Edward Trelawney, etc. with 33 copies going to American subscribers. Our copy slightly smaller than other Large Paper Copies, but with a slip containing errata pasted to verso of p. vii (as called for in the Large Paper issue, and without the final errata leaf found in the ordinary paper issue). ESTC T147028 and T147029 (Large paper copy); Sabin 33582 ‘Also on Large Paper ... The book is handsomely printed and the plates are finely executed from drawings by Ehret ...’ Nissen 950; Casey Woods p.393; Including many interesting observations, from the Portuguese, the name Barbados means bearded, and probably describes the fig tree filament growth into the soil. In addition to the fig tree, Hughes describes the many uses, including medicinal, of the vegetation found on the island. One such example is the first description of the grapefruit which Hughes called "The Forbidden Fruit". The term yellow fever was also coined by Hughes in this volume, although the association with the mosquito came much later. The cartographer for his book was Thomas Jefferys, the map-maker to George III, and his map of Barbados is shown here. The illustrations were created by Georg Dionysius Ehret, who was renowned for his botanical drawings. Hughes was also the first to describe many of the sites around the island from an archaeological perspective. Portions of Hughes' 1750 publication were incorporated into a book on diseases of the West Indies. Grainger and Moseley reference Hughes' work especially as it applies to symptoms and treatment of diseases he observed while in Barbados. The first publication of scientific research conducted on location in Barbados, it was praised by Carl Linnaeus, Griffith Hughes (bap. 1707, d. 1758?), Church of England clergyman and naturalist. ODNB ‘... In Barbados, Hughes developed the idea of publishing a book on the island's natural history. In 1743 he visited London with the intention of promoting this work and ingratiated himself with the leading scientists of the day, men such as Sir Hans Sloane and Martin Folkes. Before returning home, he had arranged for the leading artist George Dionysius Ehret to prepare plates for his book. Because his plan was both interesting and ambitious, on Hughes's return to England in 1748 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society as well as receiving his BA and MA degrees from his old college ...’
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