The Gardens of The Sun, Borneo And The Sulu Archipelago, F. W. Burbidge

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The Gardens of The Sun: Or A Naturalist’s Journal On The Mountains And In The Forests And Swamps Of Borneo And The Sulu Archipelago. Burbidge, F. W. London: John Murray, Albemarle Street, 1880. Assumed First Edition; more than one issue was printed in 1880 in at least 2 different styles; cloth back and a half leather edition. There is an embossed circular stamp Presented by J Murrary to title page of this copy. 8vo up to 9½” tall. pp. xviii, list of illustrations, 364 pages with appendix containing 4 sections; 24 publishers titles; frontis portrait and 26 illustrations several of which are full page. Grayish green cloth boards with an elaborate illustration etched in gilt and black to front and spine; dark brown endpapers. Boards have some age wear with fraying and tiny cut to head of spine and rubbing along joints and edges; gilt and black colors still bright. Very light browning to very outer edges of pages; marks from removed labels to pastedowns and to rear free endpaper; lightly shaken with hinge line visible at endpapers; no loose pages. Contents are otherwise clean without marks, tears or folds. A very good copy of this rare and lovely book. The Gardens of the Sun is based on Burbidges two years (1877-1879) in Borneo working as a plant hunter for Veitch Nurseries, the largest group of family-run plant nurseries in Europe at the time. While on this expedition he also visited Singapore, Jahore, Kina Balu, Labuan Island, Brunei, and the Sulu Islands. Beyond the botany, geography and climates of these areas, Burbidge provides detailed descriptions of the varied local groups and cultures and offers commentary on diverse subjects including rituals, dress, beliefs, trade and commerce. The first 2 appendices are on the ferns Burbidge collected. The second 2 appendices are of natural bird species and were written by Bowdler Sharpe, English zoologist and ornithologist and curator of the bird collection at the British Museum of Natural History. Dated 1879, Sharpe based his remarks on the notes and specimens collected by Burbidge. Frederick William Thomas Burbidge (1847 -1905) was a British botanist and author of several books on plants and flowers. He was one of the first recipients of the Victoria Medal of Honour (VMH) Royal Horticultural Society, and is commemorated in the name of several species including the painted pitcher plant or Burbidge’s Pitcher-Plant (Nepenthes burbidgeae) as well as the genus Burbidgea.