A very scarce edition of Virgil's Georgics with translations and notes by the accomplished botanist John Martyn.
The Georgics is a poem in four books, likely published in 29 BC. It is Virgil's second major work, following his Eclogues and preceding the Aeneid. It is a poem that draws on many prior sources and influenced many later authors from antiquity to the present. As the name suggests (from the Greek word ee, georgein, "to farm") the subject of the poem is agriculture; but far from being an example of peaceful rural poetry, it is a work characterised by tensions in both theme and purpose.
The translator, Martyn, was a keen Latinist with a strong classical education, those two passions that merged in his later years, which he devoted to producing an edition of Virgil, with a translation and natural history notes. His first edition of the Georgicks appeared in 1741, three years before the copy offered here, and the Bucolicks in 1749. (ODNB).
The influence of Martyn's botany is certainly evident in this illustrated edition which features copper plates of various fauna - some of which are coloured - alongside others of agricultural equipment, a celestial chart and a map of the Peloponnesus.
Latin text with Martyn's English translation and a proliferation of commentary on agriculture and botany.
Evidence of the neat removal of three copperplates.
In a contemporary full calf binding. Externally, rather worn with some loss to backstrip and fore edge. Boards held by cords only, liable to detach in post. Internally, firmly bound. Spotting to first and last few pages and to page edges, other spotting is light and scattered. Contemporary ink inscriptions - some of which are crossed through - to front pastedown and front free endpaper. Neat inscription reading 'William Lee Trinity College' to dedication page.
Overall: GOOD ONLY, would benefit from a sympathetic rebinding.