Dr. Patrick Browne’s Fasciculus Plantarum Hiberniae 1788. With sixteen specially commissioned watercolours and other illustrations by Wendy Walsh. Dublin: De Búrca, 1995. pp. xiv, 275, 4. Limited edition of 150 numbered copies only for sale. Quarter goatskin on handmade paper, title inset on printed label on upper cover and in gilt on spine; red and maroon endbands. This copy is numbered 6 of 10 copies only, with an original watercolour by Wendy Walsh, of a White Water-Lily (Bacán Bán). Signed by Wendy Walsh, Charles Nelson and the publisher Éamonn de Búrca. Also inscribed by Wendy Walsh on front decorated endpaper. Loosely inserted is the original prospectus. A superb and most desirable copy in slipcase.
This treasure contains an authoritative biographical essay by Dr. Nelson about the Mayo Botanist Dr. Patrick Browne (c.1720-1790), and the full text of Browne’s hitherto unpublished flora of Ireland accompanied by modern annotations and botanical notes by Dr. Nelson. Fifteen specially commissioned full-colour botanical portraits and other illustrations by Wendy Walsh, of flowers and plants associated with Browne’s Mayo studies embellish the book: each illustration has a landscape background depicting Mayo localities, including Ballintubber Abbey, Castle Bourke, Crossboyne Parish Church, Croagh Patrick, etc. Transcriptions and translations of Dr. Patrick Browne’s correspondence with the eminent Swedish naturalist, Dr. Carl Linnaeus, and transcriptions of Browne’s little-known catalogues of Irish birds and fishes form the appendices. Nothing has been spared in the design and production of this volume, which we can describe with confidence as one of the finest Irish publications for decades.
“I wish to tell you that I am so delighted with ‘Flowers of Mayo’ and to thank you for publishing such a completely satisfying and beautiful book. It is on the scale of workmanship seldom seen today, binding, paper, printing all reflect the thought and care that you have put into its production and my copy will be a treasured possession, both to look at and to read” – Wendy Walsh to Éamonn de Búrca, 24th November, 1995.