Gerard, John


The Herball, or, Generall Historie of Plantes.

Gathered by John Gerarde. Very much enlarged and amended by Thomas Johnson. London: Printed by Adam Islip, Joice Norton and Richard Whitakers [sic], anno 1633. Often referred to as Gerard emaculatus or Johnson's Gerard. The first leaf and the final leaf are blank. Four pages between 30 and 31 incorrectly numbered 29-30, 29-30. Includes indexes. Bibliography included in "To the reader," prelim. p. [20]-[32]. "A catalogue of the Brittish [i.e. Welsh] names of plants, sent me by Master Robert Dauyes of Guissaney in Flint- shire:" p. [31]-[32] at end. Last printed page (7B5 verso) contains "Errata" (with corresponding catchword on preceding page); in a later issue the errata is replaced by "An aduertisement to the readers" (without a catchword). References: STC 11751; Hunt 223. Second ed. Of the herball; first ed. Of Johnson's corrected and expanded verso--Cf. Hunt 223.

This edition, enlarged and amended by Thomas Johnson, is considered superior to the 1597 ed. that had so many errors.  Gerard's Herball is certainly one of the delights of the English language and it continues to be reprinted despite its outmoded medical recommendations.  It is very likely that the number of copies printed in the 20th century far outnumber those printed in the 16th and 17th centuries.  Gerard's Herball is actually Dodoen's Herbal done into English, including English manners and substance.  While Gerard's expertise as a surgeon is debatable, his genius with language is not.

Subjects: Botany--Pre-Linnean works; Medicine.


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