Guernsey's Earliest Flora by David McClintock is a piece of historical ecology giving a fascinating picture of the wild flowers of the Guernsey countryside in about 1790. This work honours a little-known polymath, Joshua Gosselin (1739 – 1812), upon whose work it is largely based. Gosselin excelled as a natural historian and his manuscripts and fine herbarium, which have miraculously survived, form the basis for the present volume. There are introductory chapters on Gosselin himself and on the island flora, but the bulk of the book consists of individual accounts of no fewer than 605 higher and lower plants, together building up a comprehensive picture of the Guernsey countryside of nearly two hundred years ago.
The author, David McClintock, has been closely associated with the island for 35 years and is an Honorary member of La Société Guernesiaise. His other publications include not only a Life of Gosselin, but the standard account of Guernsey’s modern flora.