The number of roses grown currently is unknown but stands at many thousands. The number varies depending on the source of the information. The number of books, dedicated to the rose is also unknown but my research suggests that there are in the region of 1000 books dedicated to the rose and written in English which have been published since the first in 1799.

I am collecting these books together for use in my own rose research and as a source of many of the stories behind the rose. I would like to ensure that the books remain on our shelves and that these too do not become lost to the passage of time.

So far I have about 600 different books dedicated to the rose together with many more on plants and gardening which I have collected as I have written my stories about the rose. Additional publications in the form of catalogues, annuals and other printed works allow me to share with you a substantial rose library.


  • British books dedicated to the rose illustrated by either the author or a commissioned artist.

    The following list of books are illustrated in colour by an artist rather than a photographer. They have been illustrated by the author or commissioned for the book. (Two exceptions which I have included are The King Penguin and ‘A Garden of Roses’ edited by Graham Stuart Thomas. The first includes Redoute illustrations and the second illustrations by Alfred Parsons.

    ‘A Collection of Roses from Nature’ (1799) Mary Lawrence

    ‘Roses: or a Monograph of the Genus Rosa’ (!805’1828) H.C. Andrews

    ‘Rosarium Monographia: or a botanical history of roses’ (1820,1830) John Lindley

    ‘The Rose Garden’ (1848) William Paul.

    ‘Beauities of the Rose’ (1850,1853) Henry Curtis

    ‘The Amateur’s Rose Book’ (1874) Shirley Hibberd

    ‘Roses and their Culture’ (1892) W.D. Prior

    ‘Roses and their Cultivation’ (1899) T.W. Sanders

    ‘Roses’ (1911) H.R. Darlington

    ‘Beautiful Roses for Gardens and Greenhouse’ (1903) John Weathers’

    ‘The Amateur Gardener’s Rose book’ (1905) Julius Hoffmann

    ‘Roses and Rose Gardens’ (1911) Walter P. Wright

    ‘Genus Rosa’ (1914) Ellen Willmott

    ‘Rose Gardening: how to manage roses and enjoy them’ (1921) Mary Hampden

    ‘A Book of Roses’ (1939) J. Ramsbottom

    ‘Old Garden Roses’ (1955, 1957) Sitwell, Russell and Blunt

    ‘Collins Guide to Roses’ (1956) Bertram Park

    ‘Climbing Roses Old and New (1965) Graham Stuart Thomas

    ‘Roses’ (1965) Anne Ophelia Dowden and Richard Thomson

    ‘Methuen Handbook of Roses’ (1966) Eigil Kiaer

    ‘Roses’ (1969) C.C. Harris

    ‘Roses’ (1971) Ludvik Vecera

    ‘Shrub Roses for Every Garden’ (1973) Michael Gibson

    ‘Shrub Roses of Today’ (1974) Graham Stuart Thomas

    ‘Roses’ (1976) Kenneth A. Beckett

    ‘The Book of the Rose’ (1980) Michael Gibson

    ‘A Garden of Roses’ (1987) edited by Graham Stuart Thomas

    ‘The Complete Flower Paintings and Drawings of Graham Stuart Thomas (1987)

    ‘The Concise Illustrated Book of Roses’ (1989) Beatrix Hamilton

    ‘Roses in a Suffolk Garden’ (1990) Josephine Walpole

    ‘A Little Book of Old Roses’ (1992) Hazel le Rougetel

    ‘The Graham Stuart Thomas Rose Book’ (1994) Graham Stuart Thomas

    ‘A Little Book of Modern Roses’ (1995) Hazel le Rougetel

    ‘Roses’ (1996) Lindsay Bousfield

    ‘Roses: a celebration (2003) Wayne Winterrowd

    ‘Rosie Sander’s Roses: a celebration in botanical art (2009) Rosie Sanders

  • Small and beautiful . . . . .

    Recently I added some of the coffee table books to this online library. In contrast I have looked out a few of the small books to add. On average these measure 10cm by 15cm. They vary in age going from the 19th century to the late 20th century. I think you will agree that each has its own merits in appearance but surely you cannot beat the title ‘Roses: a celebration in words and paintings’. Something I would like to do every day in the very same way that this book has done.

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