Thornton (1799)

Robert John Thornton


Authors long continued to pay homage to Linnaeus for his revelations about the sexuality of plants, none more spectacularly than Robert John Thornton(1768-1837), a prolific writer who in 1799 began to issue, in parts, his work entitled, New Illustration of the Sexual System of Carolus von Linnaeus...and the Temple of Flora, or Garden of Nature. This celebrated book, 'probably the most famous of all florilegia' Wilfred Blunt called it, was published at Thornton's own expense, and employing the services of top class painters and engravers and the most expensive techniques, was on such a lavish scale that it ruined him. Bitterly, he attributed his failure to the war against Napoleon. The image shown here is called The Snowdrop.