Three hundred and fifty years ago today, on 28th November 1660, The Royal Society was founded, following a lecture given by Christopher Wren at Gresham College in London. The ninth man listed among the 41 founding members was John Evelyn (1620-1706).
Two years after it was founded, in 1664, the Society published its first book: John Evelyn’s Sylva: or, a discourse of forest-trees, and the propagation of timber in his Majesty’s Dominions, &c.
The Society and its Fellows have played a significant role in some of the most fundamental, significant, and life-changing discoveries in scientific progress. Among its Fellows it includes numerous historical luminaries, notably Robert Boyle, Issac Newton, Charles Babbage, Charles Darwin and Robert Hooke, while living fellows include Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking and John Krebs.
The New Sylva will be published in 2014 to celebrate the 350th publication of Evelyn’s influential Sylva. Read more
“Surely while Britain retains her awful situation among the nations of Europe, the ‘Sylva’ of Evelyn will endure with her triumphant oaks. It was a retired philosopher who aroused the genius of the nation, and who casting a prophetic eye towards the age in which we live, has contributed to secure our sovereignty of the seas. The present navy of Great Britain has been constructed with the oaks which the genius of EVELYN planted!”
Isaac D’Israeli (1766-1848)
We are delighted to announce that a book deal with major publisher Bloomsbury has been secured by authors Gabriel Hemery and Sarah Simblet to write The New Sylva.
The New Sylva aims to be a seminal book about trees and forestry for the 21st Century. The book will be published in 2014 to coincide with the 350th anniversary of John Evelyn’s original Sylva published by the Royal Society in 1664.
The New Sylva will bring the essence of John Evelyn’s most celebrated work to a new readership. It will integrate sensitively parts of his original, visionary and very beautiful prose, with a much-needed contemporary review. It will deliver authoritative scholarship in a style that is brief, clear, accessible, and pleasurable to read, and for the very first time, it will be copiously illustrated. The New Sylva will celebrate mankind’s relationship with trees through a creative integration of history, science and art. Read more about the book.
We (the authors) will be posting news about progress with the book in this blog. You will also be able to follow progress with the twitter hashtag #newsylva.