London: for the Author; By M. Sweeney, 1796. Octavo. Item #021555
. 3rd edition in 4 volumes illustrated with copper plates.402, 512, 920 and 418 (1)pp. publisher's ad, all half-titles present as are all 31 plates (one hand-colored). Withering was a member of the Lunar Society of Birmingham, which met once every month on the Monday nearest to the full moon. Members of this group included Matthew Boulton, Erasmus Darwin, Josiah Wedgwood, James Watt and many others who were equally distinguished. Withering’s recognition of the foxglove as the active principle of the various witches’ brews that had been used to treat dropsy (oedema) was primed by his extensive botanical studies and investigations. In 1776 shortly after the arrival of Withering in Birmingham, he published The Botanical Arrangement of all the Vegetables Naturally Growing in Great Britain. This became an immediate success and would run to many editions. The present work also became a success as did several of his works. He was a remarkable physician and natural philosopher who, with his Fellow Lunars, contributed so much to Birmingham and to the World Bound in modern 1/4 brown leather over marbled paper covered boards, raised bands with compartments stamped in a floral gilt, red and black contrasting leather labels gilt, endpapers renewed, with contemporary marginalia in brown ink. A handsome set.