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“A Spirit of Enquiry Amongst Agricultural Men” in Eleven Volumes
FARMER’S MAGAZINE, THE: a periodical work, exclusively devoted to agriculture, and rural affairs. Edinburgh: Archibald Constable, 1801-10.
8vo. Two engraved frontispiece portraits, twenty-three plates (five of which are folding), two folding printed tables, and numerous woodcuts in the text. Eleven volumes. Vols. 1-10 contemporary half-calf over marbled boards, red and/or black morocco lettering pieces on spines, gilt fillet into six compartments; vol. 11 contemporary full tree-calf, red morocco lettering piece on spine, spine gilt in six compartments, joints split but very strong.
All FIRST EDITIONS except volume one which is the second edition: a very handsome set. The Farmer’s Magazine was a quarterly periodical undertaken to “encourage and promote, as far as possible, a spirit of enquiry and experiment amongst agricultural men, and to record faithfully the result of such information as may be communicated to them....Many farmers, from a diffidence of themselves, are withheld from communicating their observations to the public, from an apprehension, that their style and manner of writing are unfit for publication. In that way, many facts and observations, highly interesting to society, are either entirely lost, or but very partially known. To such we beg leave to say, that, provided facts, properly authenticated, and sound observations, are furnished, the style of the author will be considered as a matter of inferior consideration.” – from the Introduction of vol. 1.
The subjects of the articles include how to preserve fruits; the proper size of a farm; flax cultivation in England and Russia; newly invented farm machinery (e.g. the Double Turnip Plow); accounts of American husbandry; recommendations to cottagers on keeping a cow; how to convert grass lands to tillage without exhausting the soil; the corn trade and corn laws; the restrictions on farming near London; wheat cultivation; sheep and cattle management; “Thoughts on the Management of Dung;” potato cultivation in the Highlands and “On Steaming Potatoes;” the cultivation of kelp; distillery; farm buildings; and on the education of farmers. Numerous book reviews are also included.
This is a complete run of the first eleven years; the periodical ran until 1825. From the library of Lewis Dunbar Brodie of Burgie with his contemporary dated signature on vols. 1-10. Vol. 10 also contains the binder’s ticket “Bound by J. Forsyth, Elgin.”
A handsome set.
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