Place and Imprint: San Francisco: The Porpoise Bookshop, 1961.
Edition: First edition, one of 165 copies printed.
Condition: Spine slightly darkened; fine copy in the original (and somewhat worn) slipcase.
Book ID: 28831
Physical Description4to, pictorial Japanese paper over boards, green spine lettering. 42 linoleum block prints by Rick Barton.
CommentsOne of the last published books of San Francisco's Porpoise Bookshop and Peregrine Press, founded in the late 1940s by Henry Evans and his wife Patricia, with assistance from their daughter Judith, who set the type for this book. A Modern Herbal examines 41 herbs found in the San Francisco Bay Area and delineates their history, folklore, and usefulness in the kitchen, with a few recipes. Patricia Evans wrote a similar book on mushrooms, The Mycophagists’ Book, published by the Peregrine Press in 1951. The illustrations in A Modern Herbal are by Richard William Barton (1928-1992), an eccentric and talented artist whose surviving work is almost entirely that which he did for Henry Evans and his Porpoise Bookshop publications. See Writing a Chrysanthemum: The Drawings of Rick Barton by Rachel Federman (Morgan Library, 2022). Prospectus laid in, marked "proof only" in the hand of Henry Evans.