The Herbalist's Bible
by Julie Bruton-Seal
John Parkinson's Lost Classic Rediscovered
Herbalist to King Charles I, John Parkinson (1567–1650) was a master apothecary, herbalist and gardener.
Famous in his own lifetime for his influential books, his magnum opus was published in 1640, the Theatrum Botanicum, which ran to 1,788 large pages.
The sheer scope and size was perhaps to prove the book’s downfall because, while it was much revered and indeed plagiarized, it was never reprinted and now has the status of an extremely valuable rare book.
Parkinson was writing at a time when Western herbalism was at its zenith, and his skills as a plantsman combined perfectly with his passion for science, observation and historical scholarship.
In this editor’s selection, Julie and Matthew have printed Parkinson’s clear and lively description of a chosen plant’s ‘vertues’ or healing properties, adding their own modern commentary and a contemporary take on his almost-forgotten herbal recipes.
Busy herbalists, historians and gardeners will welcome this restoration and sensitive highlighting of Parkinson’s huge lost classic.
250 Colour photographs, 55 Black & white illustrations
Sep 04, 2014
About the Author:
Julie Bruton-Seal is a herbalist, iridologist and cranio-sacral therapist. A Fellow of the Association of Master Herbalists (AMH), she is also an artist, jeweller, graphic designer, cook and gardener. Her parents are the well-known wildlife filmmakers and photographers Des and Jen Bartlett. Julie and husband Matthew teach courses and workshops in herbal medicine, foraging and distilling.
Matthew Seal has had a lifelong love of wildflowers, and, like his wife Julie, is a member of the Association of Foragers. By profession an editor and writer in books, magazines and newspapers, he is an Advanced Professional Member of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP).