Book Library

A Way to Get Wealth


Author: Gervase Markham

Publisher: B. A. for John Harison

Year Printed: 1648

Edition: Seventh

Condition: Fine

eBook: Google eBook

Buy From Amazon

Height: 7.5 inches

Width: 6 inches


Currently the oldest book in the IFA Library. 

I. The natures, ordering, curing, breeding, choice, use, and feeding of all sorts of cattel, and fowle, fit for the service of man: as also the riding & dieting of horses, either for warre or pleasur.
II. The knowledge, use and laudable practise of all the recreations meet for a gentleman.
III. The office of a housewife, in phisick, surgery, extraction of oiles, banquets, cookery, ordering of feasts, preserving of wine, conceited secrets, distillations, perfumes, ordering of wooll, hemp, flax, dying, use of dayries, malting, brewing, baking, and the profit of oates.
IV. The enrichment of the weald in Kent.
V. The husbanding & enriching of all sorts of barren grounds, making them equal with the most fruitfull: With the preservation of swine, and a computation of men, and cattels labours, &c.
VI. The making of orchards, planting and grafting, the office of gardening, & the ornaments, with the best husbanding of bees. The first five books gathered by G.M. The last by master W.L. (William Lawson) for the benefit of Great Brittain.

Seventh edition 1648, corrected, and augmented by the author, 6 books in 1, each with separate dated title page and pagination, plus general title, small 4to, 190 x 145 mm, 7½ x 5¾ inches, 30 mostly small illustrations in the text, some woodcut head- and tailpieces, historiated initials and ornaments to divide the sections, pages (28), 188, (2); (8), 118, (4); (10), 252; (4), 24; (12), 158; (8), 134, a few mispaginations but catchwords correct and register continuous, bound in full contemporary tree calf, rebacked to style, with gilt rules and previous gilt lettered red morocco label, original endpapers preserved. Corners slightly worn, light wear and marks to covers, early name on frontpastedown and top of title page, general title page and following 2 leaves lightly browned, some within the text, tiny hole in C2 (Part I) with loss of 1 letter on each side, another on B5 (Part VI) with loss of a couple of letters, some upper or lower margins slightly trimmed, with loss to part of imprint on 3 titles, partial loss of a few signature letters, loss of a few catchwords, and just touching lower edge of woodcuts in final part, occasional small stain or dark spot, very small closed tear to lower corner of final leaf, neatly repaired.

Binding tight and firm. A very good copy. Part II, Part IV and Part V are dated 1649, Part III and Part VI 1631. In Part VI which is credited to William Lawson on the title page, has continuous pagination, the section entitled "The country house-wifes garden" has a special title page dated 1648. This is followed by "A most profitable newe treatise from approved experience of the art of propagating plants, by Simon Harward." Some of these books appeared separately in the early 1600s. The English Huswife (1615) being the longest and one of the most popular. A Way to Get Wealth first appeared in 1623 with only 4 books. Gervase Markham (1568-1637) was a well educated and extremely prolific writer, and the chief authority of his time on agriculture. He specialised in breeding and management of horses. Subjects covered veterinary medicine, horse riding and breeding, agricultural and farming matters, beekeeping, hunting and hawking, angling, cookery, remedies, wine, brewing, fish ponds, fruit trees, gardening, recreations such as archery, cock-fighting, bowling, tennis and ball games etc. Fussell, The Old English Farming Books, page 29-31; Aslin, Books on Agriculture 1471-1840, page 87; Harting, Bibliotheca Accipitraria A Catalogue of Books Relating to Falconry, No. 6; John Resler Swift Bibliotheca Accipitraria ll A Catalogue of Books Relating to Falconry in the English Lanquage 1486-2000, page 210, No. 371.02; Hunting, Hawking and Shooting by Schwerdt, Volume 2, page 12; Gastronomic Bibliography by Katherine Bitting, page 309; Bibliotheca Gastronomica by Andre Simon, No.1007.