Feature of the month: autumn agriculture from 1614

Fiue Hundred Points of Good Husbandry
Thomas Tusser
London: Company of Stationers, 1614
[G.L.] 1614 [GL 1614 430-1 Husbandry] [GL 1614 430-1 Husbandry]

As a practical farmer, Thomas Tusser (ca 1524-1580) was a failure. His book about farming and household management, on the other hand, has been considered the largest-selling book of poetry of the Elizabethan age. Tusser first published it as A Hundreth Good Pointes of Husbandriein 1557, enlarged it in 1562 to consider the rural labour of women more fully, and expanded it to Five Hundred Points… in 1573. This was substantially the final version, although Tusser introduced further minor changes to the edition of 1580. In all the book underwent eighteen editions in his lifetime and five more to 1638.

Agriculture was one of the headings under which Herbert Somerton Foxwell (1879-1936) collected economics books, and had four early editions of Tusser in his library, from 1574, 1576, 1610 and 1614. The 1614 edition, which must once have been very common, is recorded on ESTC as being in just two British libraries apart from Senate House, with a further four copies in America.

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