Theatrum Botanicum

By John Parkinson

Published in 1640

John Parkinson (1567–1650) was one of the last English herbalists (someone who studied and used plants for medicinal purposes). He is known for two monumental works, Paradisi in Sole Paradisus Terrestris (Park-in-Sun's Terrestrial Paradise, 1629), which generally describes the proper cultivation of plants; and Theatrum Botanicum (The Botanical Theatre or Theatre of Plants, 1640); seen by some as the most complete and beautifully presented herbal of its time.

Theatrum Botanicum, has 1,688 pages of text, and describes over 3,800 plants. It was the first work to describe 33 native plants, 13 of which grew near Parkinson's Middlesex home. Some of these plants, such as the Welsh poppy, the Strawberry Tree and the Lady's Slipper Orchid, were very common but had gone unnoticed or at least unrecorded. He intended the book to be a reliable guide for apothecaries, and it remained so for more than a hundred years after his death.

This huge volume features beautiful woodcuts throughout and has clearly been well used over the years, resulting in some damage to the spine and pages. restoration through adoption will ensure that John Parkinson’s mammoth work can continue to be enjoyed by users of the Archive. 

Funding required for restoration: £280.00

  • Repair spinal leather. This is very torn and brittle.
  • Refold paper where necessary.
  • Case in text block with cloth joints to maintain original marbles endpapers.

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