Although dust jackets have been around for nearly 200 years for the protection of book covers it was not until the 20th century that they arrived in all their artistic glory. Prior to this, many books had ornate and artistic tooled bindings. In the case of rose books this disguised the fact that there were few illustrations within. Black and white woodcut illustrations were quite common but colourful illustrations were very expensive to produce so were rarely included. Occasionally two editions of a book were printed as in the case of ‘A Book about Roses’; a Popular Edition and a Presentation Edition. The :Popular Edition contained the text but had no painted rose frontispiece or gold embossing on the cover. It was, however, cheaper and more affordable for a wider public.
I have included here a selection of the ornate 19th century rose books in the library. Some I have included before but one or two I think are worthy of a repeat performance!
The attractive spines.
‘Amateurs Rose Book (1894) Shirley Hibberd.
‘The Rose Book’ 1913) H. H. Thomas.
‘A Book about Roses’ (1869) 18th Ed. Twentieth Century.
‘The Book of Roses’ (1922) Louis Durand.
‘A Book about Roses’ (1869) 1st Ed.
‘Cultivated Roses’ (1899) Sanders T.W.
‘Beauties of the Rose’ (1850-1853) Henry Curtis.