32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
excellent unrevised edition of a classic,
This review is from: Culpeper's Complete Herbal (Wordsworth Reference) (Paperback)
I now own two copies of this book, one nearly falling apart with frequent use and the other on the bookshelf. It is quite simply an excellent reference book for a working herbalist (which I am), especially one who studies and uses renaisance astrology too (which I do). For anyone who's not a herbalist and an astrologer(!) this book is still excellent - for the skeptic it's an often-amusing and enthralling look at the misguided medicine of the past, whilst for the historian, gardener, artist or modern-day user of medicinal plants it has much to offer. I love this edition as it hasn't been bastardised with unnecessary illustrations or stupidly edited to make it more 'readable', and it simply reproduces the original text. The order of subjects and herbs is a little jumbled and eccentric, but the information is all there, laid out quite logically once you get used to Culpeper's acerbic and occasionally tangential writing style. Besides, what would you expect from a 16th century maverick astrologer-apothecary, if not a little idiosyncratic editing? In fact Culpeper goes out of his way to provide extra information on how to prepare medicines, basic diagnostic techniques of his era, and other arcane joys. This book truly is a great pleasure, and should be read by, well, everybody with any interest in the history and practice of medicine.