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  • Contributions to the Flora of Mentone

    and to a Winter Flora of the Riviera, including the Coast from Marseilles to Genoa

    Johann Traherne Moggridge, F.L.S., F.Z.S.  (1842-1874)

    illustrated by the author


    10×6.7 • 25.5×17cm

    226 pages

    99 hand-coloured lithographic engraved botanical plates by Vincent Brooks Day & Son

    index included

    Lovell Reeve & Co., London • 1871

    "Thursday, the grounds and house were thrown open, and a collation provided for all the English people at mentone that Mr. [Matthew] Moggridge chose to conduct.  Earlier I walked over to Mentone to make some calls, especially upon young [J. Traherne] Moggridge, whom you know, and who, I am sorry to say, had been seriously ill, and was still confined to his bed.  I found him busy over the flowers and plants which his most attentive and energetic father [Matthew Moggridge] brings to him from all the mountains around, cheerful and happy, but I fear he will hardly be able to complere his illustrations of the botany of Mentone."

    Letters of Asa Gray, Volume 2, Jane Loring Gray

    "I have just received your note, forwarded to me from my home.  I thank you very truly for your intended present, and I am sure that your book will interest me greatly."

    Charles Darwin to J.T. Moggridge; Sevenoaks, Oct. 9th, 1872.

    From the author's Preface:

    The want of an illustrated Continental Flora has long been felt by tourists, invalids, and others, who fail, either from want of power or inclination, to determine their plants by the present available means.  Though unable at present to commence such an undertaking, I hope that the present work may afford some facilities which may induce not a few invalids and others to turn their attention to the study of the wild flowers of the district, and thus find a pleasant subject for recreation.  When considering the thousands of idle hands which every winter pull myriads of flowers to pieces south of the Alps, and I the thousand restless energies all craving for employment in weary satiety of absolute rest, it becomes quite a marvel that these hundred-handed colonies of English should so rarely be set to work at drawing for publication some few of the wonderful objects of Natural History by which they are everywhere surrounded.  In the water, the earth, the air, unknown wonders await diligent search and investigation, while the host of things half-known teems with opportunity for scientific inquiry.  Well-directed research in any definite direction must afford happy employment for the invalid, and tend towards the advancement of knowledge.

    Being therefore convinced that I had better do a little as well as I could, than sit down and lament that that little was indeed so small, I began collecting the drawings for the present work, in the hope that I might lay a pebble towards founding the great illustrated Flora of Europe, which I long to see commenced in earnest, and with the intention of offering to the lover of Nature some account of a few of the rarities and beauties by which I was every day encompassed.  I had great advantages before me, such indeed as can rarely, I think, present themselves to many.  In the first place, my father was indefatigable in procuring subjects for my pencil, his knowledge of plants and great powers of endurance making him as able a collector as ever searched jungle or climbed Alp.  Besides his all-important help, I was most deeply indebted to M. Honoré Ardoino, who, though himself engaged upon a Flora of the Department, spared me both time, and specimens from his valuable herbarium, at once becoming one of the readiest promoters of my scheme.  I take the present opportunity of thanking him most warmly for his kindness and liberality.  With the aid of a catalogue of the plants of the neighbourhood, published by him in 1862, it was easy for me to work up the descriptions in the Flore de France, of Grenier and Godron, and a few other books, of the greater number of Mentonese plants.  I hope it will not be long before M. Ardoino will give to the world his Flore du Departement des Alpes Maritimes, which will include Cannes, Nice, and Mentone.  The student of Botany will then have no difficulty in naming most of the plants likely to be discovered in this last corner of South Eastern France.

    The descriptions of the plants figured in the present work are, of course, for the most part compiled from a variety of authors, every part being, however, checked by comparison with the actual plant.  I have sometimes been obliged to make more guarded statements and occasionally to differ altogether from my authorities.  In all cases my drawings were made from freshly-gathered specimens, so that the peculiarities of the lines which give so much character to different styles of growth might be if possible rendered.  All the dissections are represented as being magnified to a greater or less degree, except in a very few instances when special mention is made to the contrary in the accompanying letter-press.

    I can only hope that the Reader may find that an ever-increasing, ever-widening interest attends his researches, till many other branches of science link themselves into his original study, and make the pursuit endless though never in vain.

    September, 1864.

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