cloth, 316 p., $55.00
This handsome book about apples has beautiful botanical illustrations in color, by Elisabeth Dowle, as well as black-and-white reproductions of historic events and scenes involving apples. Authors Joan Morgan and Alison Richards provide an interesting history of apple cultivation, from ancient times to the present. As with many British books, the text is witty and easy to read.
Apples in North America came with the first colonists and spread rapidly across the continent. Grimes Golden, for instance, may have been a Johnny Appleseed seedling that helped to establish the apple industry in West Virginia. In addition to a fascinating history of apples (with a British slant), there is an equally interesting chapter on the history of cider both in England and America.
The New Book of Apples: A Definitive Guide to Apples, Including Over 2,000 Varieties contains an excellent directory of apple varieties, plus 100 cider apples. The directory includes notes on the cultivation of each variety, its disease resistance, and its blooming and harvesting times. Given the British bias of this work, the directory will be most useful as a reference source for American enthusiasts of apples looking for details on varieties scarce on this side of the Atlantic. Excellent appendices provide recipes, details on diseases and other details.
This book is a pleasure to read for both specialists and general readers, thanks to its abundance of information and colorful illustrations.
— Elizabeth Tremulis, volunteer, Plant Information Office, Chicago Botanic Garden