Toronto Metropolitan University
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A New Public Nature: Parks, Plants, and Periodicals In The Nineteenth Century

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posted on 2021-05-22, 15:13 authored by Mark Sardella
In 1798, William Curtis published the sixth and last volume of Flora Londinensis, a beautifully coloured catalogue of over 400 plants that grew in London and in its nearby fields. Less than 300 copies were sold, and while the book was considered scientifically important, it was a financial failure (Field 106). Firstly, Flora Londinensis was prohibitively expensive because of its coloured plates, and secondly, the many illustrations of wild grasses and common plants included in the book failed to interest an audience outside of a small group of medical doctors and aristocratic hobby-botanists. The project, however, was not a complete failure for Curtis. While publishing Flora Londinensis, Curtis launched a considerably more successful, similarly formatted periodical for a slightly broader audience called Botanical Magazine. Botanical Magazine featured coloured plates of newly discovered exotic plants that satisfied the tastes of the public. It was published in thin issues containing only three plates each, and at a price of one shilling per monthly issue, Botanical Magazine was affordable enough for more readers to justify paying for the magazine’s exciting, colourfully illustrated content.





  • Master of Arts


  • Literatures of Modernity

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • MRP