Iii (title, blank, contents) iv-xxiv, 1 2-520,  11pp. Index, directions to the binder. With an engraved frontispiece and seven engraved plates (one folding). Bound in contemporary straight-tree calf (rebacked, with the original title-piece laid down).
Spine divided into six panels by double gilt fillets. Title gilt to red morocco in the second panel. On the edges of the boards, a blind roll.
Rebacked, with the original title-piece laid down. Some wear to the edges. Faint dampstain to the lower edge of Gg8 to the rear end-papers.
A bit of tanning mostly around the plates, but generally quite a clean copy. Bookseller ticket of Théophile Barrois to the upper fore-corner of the front paste-down. On the recto of the first free end-paper, the faint library stamp of Roland Thaxter. Like his father, William was unsatisfied to observe in his backyard; instead he traveled extensively in the Southeast (from 1773), leaving some of the earliest and most vivid descriptions of that part of the country.
His was the great curiosity of the savant, not limiting himself to the flora or fauna, terrain or cultures he encountered, but weaving all into a tapestry of the region. He was the first naturalist properly to explore the thickly forested and swampy terrain of Florida, and it is this for which his writing is now most prized.
The density of editions in Bartram's lifetime is a testament to their enduring appeal. Nearly as important as the work's scientific pedigree is its influence on literature. Coleridge and Wordsworth certainly read it; Wordsworth cites it explicitly in a note to his poem "Ruth" Lyrical Ballads (1800) II. The novelty of the country and its inhabitants surely sparked great curiosity, but it is surely the immediacy and rhapsody of Bartram's prose that so engaged the Romantic poets. He must not have been the first owner; Barrois, the Paris bookseller "pour les Livres Etrangers, " died in 1836.
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