The aim of this series is to interest the general reader in the wildlife of Britain by recapturing the enquiring spirit of the old naturalists, encouraging unusual and original developments of forgotten or neglected facets of British natural history. Collins are delighted to announce the republication in facsimile form of the first editions of the very first volumes in the New Naturalist Library. Originally planned in the darkest days of World War II and first published in 1945, this series is the longest running nature series in the world. It is a reflection of the quality of the authors and the books they wrote, that they are still sought after 73 years later. The books will be identical in every way to the original first editions, including the iconic jackets by Clifford and Rosemary Ellis. The purpose of this book is to supply an introduction to British wild flowers for those who (though keen and interested) may feel in need of guidance.Readers will find that Wild Flowers succeeds in far more than this, however, since, with its accent on history, ecology and the communities of plants, it makes a really important contribution to the understanding of our flora, not only by the general naturalist but by those working in other fields of natural history.
The writers also focused on the part that amateurs can play in building up the scientific knowledge of our plants. In addition, their account of the history of British field botany was the best of its kind written at the time, and there are numerous and apposite quotations from the poets, a surprising number of whom also appear to have been botanists.
J. Gilmour: 1906-1986. Plant taxonomist and horticulturalist, author of Wild Flowers (1954 with S.M. Walters) and editor of the New Naturalist series 1943-79. Max Walters: 1920-2005. Botanist and botanic garden director, editor of the series from 1981 to 2005, and author of Wild Flowers (1954 with John Gilmour), Mountain Flowers (1956 with John Raven) and Wild and Garden Plants (1993).