In 1737, Elizabeth Blackwell published the first weekly installment of a very ambitious project. The final work, entitled A Curious Herbal (1737-39), ultimately consisted of 500 plates of plants alongside 111 pages of text providing descriptions of their medicinal uses. Endorsed by the Royal College of Physicians, the publication helped satisfy the need for an up-to-date reference work for apothecaries.
A Curious Herbal is the subject of a chapter in Dr. Anna K. Sagal’s first monograph project, Resisting Gardens: Pedagogy and Natural Philosophy in Eighteenth-Century Women’s Work. By providing free, online access to relevant literature, such as Blackwell’s Herbal, the Biodiversity Heritage Library has been an important resource for Sagal’s research on the project.