Charles Estienne and Jean Liébault, Maison Rustique, or, The Countrey Farme (1616)

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Maison Rustique, or, The Countrey Farme is an English translation by Richard Surflet and Gervase Markham of Charles Estienne and Jean Liébault’s Agriculture et Maison Rustique. This third edition was owned by Mary Howard, who signed the book in an italic hand on leaf 2A6v.

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Says bookseller Roger Middleton, the text “is a thorough-going treatise on agriculture, horticulture, viticulture, forestry, wines and food, distilling, bee-keeping, gardening and orchards, fishing, all kinds of hunting including falconry, remedies for man and animals etc. In its day it was the most important work on rural economy of the 16th century and was very successful, going into many editions and translated additionally into Italian, Dutch and German.”

A search of ESTC reveals the two books, Madeleine de Scudéry’s romance Ibrahim, or, The Illustrious Bassa (1652) and The Plain Englishman’s Historian, or, A Compendious Chronicle of England (1679), at the Huntington and The Folger Shakespeare Library, respectively, signed by a Mary Howard. While this was no doubt a fairly common name, it would be interesting to follow up and see if the signatures match our Mary Howard.

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Source: Book offered for sale by Roger Middleton, 3/22/19. Images used with permission.

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