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Home > Begonian > Volume 47 (July 1980, page 198)

Begonia books - where to find information

The number of begonia books in print is distressingly small, considering how much could be said about this large, diverse genus. However, those available encompass a wealth of valuable, detailed information.

Also, some good out-of-print volumes are sometimes found in used book stores and libraries -- particularly the ABS Library and ABS branch libraries. And what promises to be the largest and most complete work for
popular consumption is expected to be published around Christmas 1980.

This will be Begonias by Edward and Mildred Thompson, authors of the monumental, privately published Thompson Begonia Guide. Times Books is expected to publish Begonias with 350 pages containing 665 drawings and photos, many in color. To reserve an autographed copy before publication, write to Ed and Millie Thompson, P.O. Drawer PP, Southampton, NY 11968. Or you can buy one at a bookstore.

Begonias for Beginners by Elda Haring, a thoroughly knowledgeable grower and author, is an easy-to-use little book with an illustrated encyclopedic section on individual species and cultivars. Elda explains growing techniques, propagation, pruning, and other topics that often perplex novices. Published by Bookworm Publishing Co. -- no longer in business -- the book now is available directly from Elda Haring, Box 236, Flat Rock, NC 28731, in paperback ($3.75) and hardcover ($5.75). You also can order it from the ABS Bookstore (see inside front cover of the latest Begonian).

The color plates are spectacular in Begonia Portraits by Alice M. Clark. Alice published this book privately in 1977 and very few copies of the first printing remain unsold at this time. The volume consists of reproductions of her paintings of favorite begonias, along with her sometimes-quaint, sometimes-amusing, always-informative commentary. Order from Alice Clark, 3643 Jennings St., San Diego, CA 92106 for $26.50 (plus $1.50 tax  for Californians).

Begonia by Isamu Misono is a book in Japanese with 302 color photographs of begonias identified in English. ABS published an English translation of the text by Marguerite DeCola and Hikoichi Arakawa, without illustrations, entitled Begonias. Both can be ordered from the ABS Bookstore, the original (supply very limited) for $30, and the translation for $6 (plus 6% sales tax each for Californians).

Yet another book entitled Begonias is the translation from French by Alva Graham of Charles Chevaller's 1938 Les Begonias. Numerous color and black-and-white plates have been added to the translated version. A large-format soft-cover book, it is available from the ABS Bookstore for $8 (plus 6% sales tax for Californians). This is an enduring classic with a wealth of technical information.

If you know a good used book Store, some titles of out-of-print books to seek are: All About Begonias (1960) by Bernice Brilmayer, Begonias for American Homes and Gardens (1947) by Helen K. Krauss, Begonias and How to Grow Them (1946) by Bessie Raymond Buxton, and The Tuberous Begonia (1969) by Brian Langdon.

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