This publication by the German physician Leonhart Fuchs is nowadays recognised as a masterpiece in Renaissance botany, not least on account of its ground-breaking naturalist woodcut illustrations. Published in numerous editions and languages in the sixteenth century, Fuchs’ De historia stirpium achieved a hugely influential standing amongst contemporary botanists across Europe.
This edition, printed in Lyon, bears extensive scholarly annotations. On this page we see inscribed in an early hand the English name of a plant (‘daffadyll’) next to its printed illustration. A later hand, that of the Cambridge orientalist William Bedwell, corrects both author and previous annotator, stating that the picture shown ‘is the wilde lily hemerocallis & not Asphodelus’. Bedwell supports his assertion with a cross reference (including volume and page number) to the Latin edition of another botanical work by the Flemish botanist Rembert Dodoens. In other parts of this volume Bedwell refers to an English edition of the same Dodoens work published in 1578.
Author: Leonhart Fuchs
Title: De historia stirpium commentarii insignes [Notable commentaries on the history of plants] (Lyon, 1549)
Shelfmark: H.19.5 (catalogue record)
16th centuryH.19.5William Bedwellannotationsillustrationswoodcuts