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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 and 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.

Below are wrapper designs from the 1938, 1944 & 1958 editions:-

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".

Below are wrapper designs from the 1967, 1975, & 1978 editions, and the covers of the Bloomsbury Edition, 1992 :-

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