[HOARE, Sarah.] ~ A Poem on the Pleasures and Advantages of Botanical Pursuits, with Notes; and other Poems. By a Friend to Youth, addressed to her Pupils. Bristol: Printed by Philip Rose [c. 1826].
12mo (175 x 111 mm), pp. , xi, , 134; a very good copy in original pale drab boards; contemporary annotated slip tipped-in.
First edition. A provincially-printed volume by botany teacher and Quaker Sarah Hoare.
Hoare’s poem first appeared as an addendum to Priscilla Wakefield’s Introduction to Botany (1818), but is here accompanied by sundry other poems and an introduction. In this, which is addressed to her pupils, Hoare emphasises her indebtedness to Wakefield’s work—‘it was the first book of the kind I had read on the subject’—and explains that a change in her financial circumstances has necessitated her publication of the present work.
Hoare taught the daughters of Quakers in Ireland for many years before returning to Bristol where she continued the work. For her, ‘botany was connected with the ideas of personal and social usefulness’ and the work takes on a maternal tone, with the medicinal properties of plants emphasised that they might be of use to those students of hers who have had children of their own. As Sam George has recognised, Hoare’s poem ‘posits a trustworthy science reliant on Quakerly practices of proof and honesty’.
COPAC lists just four copies in the UK, at the British Library, Durham, Society of Friends and St. Andrews, to which WorldCat adds Haverford College, Miami, Stanford, UCLA, and Yale, in the US.
Jackson p. 515; Jackson, Women p. 160. See: Sam George, Botany, Sexuality and Women’s Writing, 1760-1830, (Manchester UP, 2007) pp. 6-63.