A Practical Essay on the Management of Potatoes, or, a New Method of Preventing the Disorder thereof, called Curl’d Tops. Containing Short and Plain Directions for the Right Management of Potatoes; with Respect to Their Preservation, Setting, Time of Growth, Taking Up, &c. Chiefly designed for the Use and Benefit of Farmers and Countrymen in General, Being adapted to the Lowest Capacity. To which is Added, an Account of the Artificial Manure for Potatoes with Respect to its Use, Effect, &c. &c.

vi, 18 pp. 8vo, attractive antique calf-backed marbled boards (title dusty), spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. London: Printed for Mess. Richardson and Urquhart et al., 1782.

First edition and very rare. During the final four decades of the 18th century Britain experienced a number of corn harvest failures with a resulting rise in the price of wheat. The Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, the Board of Agriculture, and various private individuals advocated the adoption of the potato as a substitute for wheat, and great efforts were made to popularize the cultivation of this crop.

The present work is one of the earliest British books devoted solely to the growing of potatoes. Raley, “student in physic and botany, in Barmby upon the moor, near Pocklington, Yorkshire,” published two works in the same year on the potato. This is his second work, in which he gives directions on how to grow this crop, and also how to cure “curl’d top,” a disease that had been troubling potato growers in England for several years.

The final five pages describe an artificial manure for potatoes, prepared by the author alone and sold at 1s. 4d. a pound. Purchasers of this manure would be given a discount when buying the present book.

Very good copy. Stamp of the Lawes Agricultural Trust on title.

❧ Fussell, II, pp. 124-25. Henrey, II, pp. 612-13 & no. 1249.

Price: $1,850.00

Item ID: 6469

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