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Letters on the Elements of Botany: Addressed to a Lady

New Edition

Series: Cambridge Library Collection - Botany and Horticulture

By: Jean-Jacques Rousseau(Author), Thomas Martyn(Translated by)

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Jun 2017 | Edition: 3 | #221105 | ISBN-13: 9781108076722
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £31.99 $41/€35 approx

About this book

A reprint of a classical work in the Cambridge Library Collection.

Among the many interests of Swiss philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–78) was botany. These letters 'addressed to a lady' came to the attention of Thomas Martyn, professor of botany at the University of Cambridge, who thought that 'if [they were] translated into English, they might be of use to such … as wished to amuse themselves with natural history'. However, when the translation was done, he 'perceived that the foundation only being laid by the ingenious author, it could be of little service, without raising the superstructure'. Martyn's 1785 publication, of which we have reissued the 1791 third edition, adds notes and corrections to Rousseau's original thirty-two letters which explain the structure of plants and their ordering in the Linnaean system. Martyn urges the reader not to study it 'in the easy chair at home': it 'can be no use but to such as have a plant in their hand'.


Translator's preface

1. The true use of botany
2. Double flowers to be avoided
3. Botany not to be studied by books
4. Reason why two stamens are shorter than the other four in cruciform flowers
5. Glands very small
6. The umbellate and other natural tribes of plants
7. Botany a study of curiosity only
8. The manner how to form a hortus siccus
9. The skill of a botanist
10. Genera and species
11. Explanation of generic and specific characters of plants
12. The examination of plants
13. Corn and grasses
14. Other plants of the third class
15. The fourth class
16. The fifth class
17. Nectary
18. Hexandria monogynia
19. Heptandria
20. The eleventh class
21. Class Icosandria
22. Fourteenth class, Didynamia
23. Fifteenth class, Tetradynamia
24. Plants to be examined at different seasons
25. Class seventeenth, Diadelphia
26. Class Syngenesia
27. The twentieth class
28. The twenty-first class
29. The twenty-second class
30. The twenty-third class
31. The different forms and structure of the nectary
32. The twenty-fourth class

Index of the English names of plants
Index of Latin names
Natural tribes, or orders of plants
Index of terms

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