Apr. 22nd, 2016

lblanchard: (swannfountain)
I emailed the bookseller (Warren F. Broderick, Books, http://www.gardenbooks.org ) who sold me Reginald Farrer's My Rock-Garden bearing the bookplate of R. J. Carthew, to see what he could tell me about the book's provenance.

His reply, within a couple of minutes:

It was acquired last winter at a Conn. book store that was going out of business. He had purchased the library of author, Geoffrey Charlesworth, a few years ago and this may have been one of his books. GC had other titles owned by noted authors and British gardeners.

This is very cool. Charlesworth (1920-2008) was old enough (apparently) to have acquired this volume directly from a Carthew estate sale. Much of Carthew's property was sold shortly after his death in 1943. Charlesworth is (it says at the link below) the author of a book titled The Opinionated Gardener, about growing alpines. I would expect this to be in the mold of Farrer. He penned a delightful poem, "Why did my plant die?", which you can read at the link:


Charlesworth is an interesting character in his own right. A man with an aptitude for mathematics, he was recruited into the Bletchley Park project by Alan Turing. After the war he and his partner emigrated -- were they influenced by the cautionary tale of Alan Turing's experience? I wonder -- and he lived and gardened on Long Island until his retirement. More in his obituary here:


Used editions of The Opinionated Gardener are very modestly priced. I may order one Or I may wait. and did, from ABEBooks.com for $5 plus $1 shipping.

I am reading two Farrer titles more or less simultaneously right now -- My Rock-Garden in hardback and On the Eaves of the World in pdf. I saw a set of this latter on abebooks.com for $50, the lowest price available, and I think not quite yet...

Edited to add, for [livejournal.com profile] pameladean, an illustration of A. vernalis that I found in an online edition of Among the Hills. The list of illustrations at the beginning says "some in color," but Google images in b/w. Maybe I'll run across the real book some day...

Anemone vernalis. Painting by Mrs. Addington Symonds
The Lady of the Snow belongs to the very highest Alps only; it is first of all flowers to unfold
in the dark pools of moorland made by the melting snow.
Farrer, Reginald John, Among the hills; a book of joy in high places. London, Headley [1910].

Captured from a book scanned by Google Books and placed online by the Hathi Trust Digital Library.


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