Inscribed by Queen Mary of Teck to the head gardener at Windsor Castle, the first edition of The English Countryside: A Survey of its Chief Features.
Octavo, vi, 250pp. Green cloth, title in black on spine and front cover. Stated “First Published May, 1939” on copyright page. Solid text block, slight bow to front cover, faint toning to edges of cloth, foxed edges. In a price-clipped dust jacket, faint sunning to spine, a vibrant example. Inscribed “For Mr. Simpson from Mary R. / Christmas 1943” on front free endpaper. Includes two laid-in postcards from the Queen, with holiday greeting inscriptions likely written by her secretaries.
George Simpson worked as the King’s head gardener at Windsor Castle throughout the 1940s and 50s. Both Queen Mary and The Queen Mother were fond of Simpson. In a 1949 letter to her daughter, Elizabeth, the Queen Mother writes “I am feeling quite gaga with Xmas preparations! On Sunday we did all the Royal Lodge servants… then went to Windsor… + [George] Simpson etc.” Simpson was well respected in the field of gardening, serving as a judge in the Olympia Flower Show in 1950. Queen Mary of Teck (1867-1953) was the wife of King George V and Queen of the United Kingdom until 1936. She was the mother of King Edward VIII, King George VI, and the grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II. She died one year into the reign of granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II.