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Stella & Rose's Books

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2 - The Observer's Book of Wild Flowers

by W.J. Stokoe

The original edition of this book was issued with 220 illustrations in both colour 1st 1937 wrapper of the observer's book of flowersand black and white - you can see typical pages illustrated below - which were reproduced in small size from Sowerby's English Botany. Also some of the text from the book was extracted from the popular standard work Wayside and Woodland Blossoms. A good summary of the purpose of this book is provided by the preface to the 1st edition "This little book is intended for the pocket to enable the observer in his wanderings through field and woodland, to study the wonderful variety of wild flowers around him. It is not intended to take the place of the more complete works on the subject, but it is hoped that it will awaken and intensify the interest sufficiently, to all those seers after the beauties of nature..." Each flower, of which there is typically one per page, has its own botanical descriptions and notes of flowering period, habitat and distribution. 1,475,000 copies sold between 1937-1981.

It has been revised in 1963, 1965, 1975 and was rewritten by Francis Rose with 116 full-colour new illustrations by R.B. Davis in 1975. It has since been reissued is different formats by Penguin paperbacks, Bloomsbury Books, and as part of the New Observer's Series.

above image of the 1st edition 1937 wrapper
below typical pages from the Stokoe version.

Illustratinos from inside The Observer's Book of Wild Flowersillustrations from insdie The Observer's Book of Wild Flowers

There have been 9 different cover designs between 1937 and 1981, whilst published by Warne in the main series. It was then re-issued by different publishers with different covers again. Some of the variations to the covers are only minor - as you can see below the only difference between the 1938 and the 1944 wrapper is the underlining in red of "200 species described"

1938 The Observer's Book of Wild Flowers1944 The Observer's Book of Wild Flowers1958 The Observer's Book of Wild Flowers

1938                                                1944                                                     1958

1967 The Observer's Book of Wild Flowers1975 The Observer's Book of Wild Flowers1978 The Observer's Book of Wild Flowers

                     1967                                                           1975                                                   1978

Bloomsbury Wild Flowers



Ieft: Bloomsbury Edition, 1992

To see our current stock on this book Click Here or see below.






Current stock

Stokoe, W.J.. No illustrator listed. Stock no. 1708111
Frederick Warne & Co Ltd.. 1st. 1937. Very good condition in an almost very good dustwrapper. Observer's Book no. 2. Describing 200 British species with 220 illustrations 100 of which are in full colour. Name in ink to verso of front endpaper. Wrapper browned with some chipping to corners and top and tail of spine. [S]
Price: £170.00
Pycraft, David.Illustrated by Lupton, Joan. Stock no. 1708080
Frederick Warne. 1980. Very good condition with no wrapper. Observer No. 25. Based on the larger work "The Book of Garden Flowers" by G.A. Phillips. Laminate boards. Inscription in ink to front pastedown. [S] 0723215316.
Price: £6.00

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