London: The Imperial Press, 1899.
Fourth Edition. Hardcover. This ode to autumnal foliage forms the "first attempt ever made in England to reproduce in facsimile...not merely the exquisite tinting but the forms and venation of the most prominent and conspicuous of the leaves whose dying splendour lights up with so much of brilliancy and beauty our autumnal hedges and woodlands..." Part I of this harvest-time handbook features a series of "Autumn Rambles" across the English countryside, with Part II forming the in-depth study of autumnal leaves tree by tree. Boasting a vibrant color frontispiece and 11 color plates produced in facsimile from leaves collected and arranged by the author, 4 page and 14 vignette wood illustrations of New Forest Scenery, engraved by James D. Cooper from drawings by Frederick G. Short, and 12 charming initial-letter leaf designs also by the author, this 1899 edition of Autumnal Leaves is a feast for Fall-loving eyes. Author Francis George Heath (1843-1913) was a botanist, civil servant, and pioneer of the Open Space and Green Belt movements in England, which championed the preservation of nature for public enjoyment. Heath was the author of nearly two dozen books on the glories of nature, including eight bestselling books on ferns, as well as titles like Tree Lore, Tree Gossip, Sylvan Winter, My Garden Wild, The Green Gateway, Garden Rockery, and many more. This is a handsome and well-preserved 1899 edition of his Autumnal Leaves, in which he sought to elevate, even as they fall, the leaves of Autumn to the level of English flowers, which had long received the facsimile illustrations Heath offers here.
8" X 5 7/8". [xii], xvi, [iii], 20-352pp, plus 32pp ads. Bound in full oak brown cloth over boards, with autumn leaves stamped in varying shades of green and orange to upper board and spine, with stylized lettering in gilt to upper board and spine. Mild edgewear to binding, with light scattered rubbing, bumping to extremities, and slight warping to upper board. Binding is firm and sound. Pages are clean and unmarked. Illustrated in frontispiece and 11 color plates produced in facsimile from leaves collected and arranged by the author, 4 page and 14 vignette wood illustrations of New Forest Scenery, engraved by James D. Cooper from drawings by Frederick G. Short, and 12 initial-letter leaf designs also by the author. Very good. Item #9991