John Gerarde, The Herball, 1597 - portrait, on back of title-page, p.B6v.

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Date:1597

Description:John Gerarde, herbalist: a contemporary of Shakespeare.

The large linen ruff was a fashion imported from the Netherlands, but adopted by all who could afford the starches needed to create such an accessory. John Gerarde (1545-1612), was superintendent of Lord Burghley's garden and he became Master of the Court of Assistants of Barber-Surgeons in 1607. His catalogue of plants was published in1596, and his extensive Herbal (1597) was one of the most successful illustrated books of the time. This portrait shows the fashion of a successful gentleman, a velvet gown over a rich doublet, a neat beard, and a signet ring on his left hand. Autolycus boasts in The Winter's Tale, 4,3, line 13, that he has 'in my time wore three-pile' [velvet] when he served at court.


Full title: John Gerarde, The Herball, [colophon: Edm. Bollifant for Bonham and John Norton], 1597. (Copy with contemporary hand-colouring.)


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The timeline shows resources around this location over a number of years.

1570s
Henri Estienne, A mervaylous discourse upon... Katherine de Medici…, 1575 - title page
Henri Estienne, A mervaylous discourse upon... Katherine de Medici…, 1575 - title page

Shakespeare may have owned this book. Shakespeare purchased New Place, the largest ...

1590s
Church of England, Booke of Common Prayer, 1596 - binding view
Church of England, Booke of Common Prayer, 1596 - binding view

A much-used book, possibly owned by Shakespeare. This prayer book, whose dimensions ...

1610s
William Shakespeare, Quartos, A Midsummer Night's Dream, 1600 [1619] - Theseus goes hunting, p.F4v.
William Shakespeare, Quartos, A Midsummer Night's Dream, 1600 [1619] - Theseus goes hunting, p.F4v.

Duke Theseus’ hounds in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Theseus’s ...

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Donor ref:SR/OS 97.3 [827] (32/10504)

Source: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust - Library

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