Culture de la Grosse Asperge, by FILLASSIER, Jean-Jacques (1745-1799).

FILLASSIER, Jean-Jacques (1745-1799).

Culture de la Grosse Asperge, dite de Holland, la plus précoce, la plus hâtive, la plus fécond & la plus durable que l’on connoisse. Traité qui présente les moyens de la cultiver avec succès, en toutes sortes de terres. Par M. Fillassier, des Académies d’Arras, de Lyon, de Marseille, & Corespondant de celle de Toulouse. Nouvelle Edition. Amsterdam, Méquignon, 1784.

Second Edition. 12mo, pp. iv, 149, [2] table of contents,
paper fault p. 67/68, touching the text,
in contemporary half sheep over marbled boards, spine ruled in gilt, wanting the label.

A comprehensive treatise on asparagus cultivation by Jean-Jacques Fillassier, educator, moralist and admirer of his Jean-Jacques Rousseau. His few works enjoyed considerable success: his first work Eraste ou l’Ami de la jeunesse, 1773, was reprinted several times and well into the nineteenth century; he also wrote a popular Dictionnaire historique d’éducation, 1771 and a Dictionnaire du jardinier français, 1789. He ran a tree-nursery at Clamart and was a member of several academies. It is interesting that he puts in a puff for the nursery in the Avis to the present work. Stating how hard it is to find asparagus without having it travel a long way, Fillassier advertises his own asparagus plants available for sale at Clamart sou Meudon, near Paris, at the price of 15 livres per thousand.
First published in 1779, this was a very influential work and was published in numerous editions as late as 1815. A detailed study of all aspects of asparagus, Fillassier discusses its origins and nature and the history of its cultivation as well as giving detailed advice on suitable terrain, preparation of the asparagus beds and the care to be taken in its planting, in the first three years after planting and subsequently in the harvesting and cutting of the asparagus. The final chapter of the main text deals with the uses and properties of asparagus. This is followed by a question and answer section on various agricultural aspects, which concludes the work. The author includes detailed footnotes and quotations from other authors throughout.
Despite its evident popularity, this work is now scarce in any edition. This edition is probably the most common, although OCLC lists only four copies in America (at UC San Diego, Hagley Museum, National Agricultural Library, Rutgers), and three copies in France.

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