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The Garden at Eichstätt

The Garden at Eichstätt
Basilius Besler
Cologne; New York: Tachen
Publication Date: 

cloth, 563 p., $40

Is yet another reprint of Hortus Eystetennsis justified? In this special case, yes! This magnificant book is not just another recycling of Prince Bishop Johann Konrad von Gemmingen's most famous book, but an attempt to place it in the context of recent scholarship and interest in the early history of botany. Klaus Walter Littger's introduction provides an excellent context for the garden at Willibaldsburg castle and the creation of Hortus Eystetennsis. Werner Dressendörfer examines the plates from a botanical viewpoint, giving us a plate-by-plate analysis of the book. This book certainly sets the standard for all future efforts in reprinting historically significant herbals and botanically important works. Given the scholarship and quality of the reproductions, this book is a bargain. It should find its way to many a library and coffee table, where it will hardly ever gather dust.

— Edward J. Valauskas, Manager, Library and Plant Information, School of the Chicago Botanic Garden.