Robert Fortune: Two Visits to the Tea Countries of China and the British Tea Plantations in the Himalaya; With a Narrative of Adventures, and a Full Description of the Culture of the Tea Plant, the Agriculture, Horticulture, and Botany of China. (London: John Murray, 1853), third edition, two volumes, 315 pages and 298 pages respectively [32 page John Murray book catalog dated January, 1854 bound into the back of volume one], illustrated with 29 engravings, one fold-out map, in original brown speckled cloth boards with gilt titles and decoration, 8vo (5.25" x 8.25"), former owner's book plate on inside cover of each book, very small owner's blind stamp on the full title page of each volume, wear to exterior hinges of both volumes, minor loss to head and foot of spine, bumped corners, else very good. Robert Fortune (1812-1880) was a Scottish botanist who first visited China in 1842, as a collector for the Royal Horticultural Society, where he collected numerous plants, several of which were named after him. In 1848, he returned to China, this time on behalf of the East India Company, to collect plants and seeds of the tea-shrub. He provides excellent descriptions of Hong Kong and China, of Chinese customs, industry, language and flora, missionary activity, opium consumption, and the cultivation and processing of tea. In 1851, Fortune successfully introduced two thousand tea plants and seventeen thousand sprouting seeds into the north-west provinces of India.

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    April, 2007
    16th-17th Monday-Tuesday
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