BRITISH BOTANIST AT THE ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS, KEW, CORRESPONDS WITH FELLOW BOTANIST, TAXONOMIST, AND EDITOR OF THE GARDENERS’ CHRONICLE
GEORGE BENTHAM (1800-84) HANDWRITTEN LETTER SIGNED, “Believe me ever yours sincerely, George Bentham”, 2pgs of folio letter, 4.5 x 7, Dec. 29, 1867, on his “25 Wilton Place, S.W.” stationary, to botanist Maxwell Tylden Masters, by the English botanist and lawyer who was the author of a number of botanical works, particularly flora. He is best known for his taxonomic classification of plants in collaboration with Joseph Dalton Hooker, his Genera Plantarum (1862-1883). His most famous work, however, was the Handbook of the British Flora (1858) that was used by students for over a century. In 1855 he took up residence in London and worked at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, until the end of his life. During his time at Kew he prepared, under government sanction, a series of floras or descriptions in the English language of the indigenous plants of British colonies and possessions. The letter is written to fellow botanist and taxonomist, Maxwell Tylden Masters (1833-1907), author of Vegetable Teratology and editor of the Gardeners’ Chronicle. The handwritten letter, in part: “…It is a great pleasure to me to continue to receive the Gardeners’ Chronicle…I have kept the whole series and regularly deposit it in the Herbarium library at Kew…I only regret that I have now no opportunity for contributing to it as my time is so completely taken with the botanical work I have in hand….” It is in fine condition, with minor age toning.