1812 Scarce First Edition - RIDER'S BRITISH MERLIN: For the Year of Our Lord 1812 being the Bissextile or Leap Year. Almanack with Husbandry, Fairs, Marts, and Tables.
Author: Cardanus Rider.
Title: RIDER'S BRITISH MERLIN: For the Year of Our Lord 1812 being the Bissextile or Leap Year. Adorned with many delightful and useful Verities fitting all Capacities in the Islands of Great Britain's Monarchy. With Notes of Husbandry, Fairs, Marts, and Tables for many necessary Uses.
Publishers: London, Printed for the company of Stationers, by Nichols and Son, 1812. First edition.
Language: Text in English.
Size: 5.5 " X 3.5 ".
Pages: 60 pages of text and many blank pages inserted throughout.
Binding: Attractive, beautiful, and very good original dark red morocco leather binding finely bound with working claps (hinges fine, overall slightly worn and scuffed - as shown) under a protective removable mylar cover. All edges gilt.
Content: Very good content (bright, tight, and clean, red ink stamp on the title page - as shown, some pencil annotations on 2-3 blank pages - as shown).
Estimate: (USD 500 - USD 700)
The book: Rare and attractive first edition of this Almanack titled Rider's British Merlin. It was one of the earliest almanacs to be published, issued from 1656 until at least 1830.
The almanac contained the calendar, weather, and astronomical and astrological information that a typical almanac of the period would contain. The pages for each month of the year were accompanied by advice on what, and what not to eat and drink, and otherwise how to keep in good health. There were horticultural notes with abundant attention paid to herbs, fruit and vegetables.
The lengthiest sections of this little book listed annual fairs in England and Wales of fixed and moveable date. The first would generally be associated with a saint's day, while the second would be of the type "second Monday in October". This list of town names and dates represented important information in the days before Agricultural Advisers, Trade Fairs and Job Offices, when the fairs played an important role not only in buying and selling, but also in exhibiting innovations in husbandry, in information exchange and in the hiring of labour.
The author: It is generally held that Cardanus Rider is a pseudonym, and near-anagram: the letters rearrange as Ric_ard Saunder_. Richard Saunders was an English physician and astrologer, born in 1613, and who died (sources differ) either in 1675, 1687, or 1692.
The National Archives in London hold a book by Saunders on palmistry, with horoscopes; also attributed to him is The Astrological Judgment and Practice of Physick, published in 1677, although the fact that it includes charts from as early as 1616 to 1618 has led doubts to be cast on the actual authorship. Be that as it may, its subject matter was dear to the heart of "Cardanus Rider"; it stands as one of the earliest astro-medical treatises in the English language. Using the terminology of his day, the writer speaks of humours and winds, of conditions hot, cold or dry, of the cholerick and melancholy, of illnesses produced by the planets in the various signs of the zodiac, when to administer medicines based on planetary hours, and much more.
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1812 Scarce First Edition - RIDER'S BRITISH MERLIN: For the Year of Our Lord 1812 being the Bissextile or Leap Year. Almanack with Husbandry, Fairs, Marts, and Tables. Price List