Seeds of Change.

By Henry Hobhouse

Printed: 2007

Publisher: THe Folio Society. London

Dimensions 18 × 26 × 4 cm

Language: English

Size (cminches): 18 x 26 x 4

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Item information


In a fitted box. Brown cloth spine with greentitle plate and gilt lettering. Green boards with plant images.

F.B.A. provides an in-depth photographic presentation of this item to stimulate your feeling and touch. More traditional book descriptions are immediately available.

Endorsed by F.B.A. – F.B.A. is endorsing a range of collectable lovingly used books

A great story of man’s progress elegantly framed in a magnificent book

Two meaningful Reviews

A friend recommended this book to me, and I took it away as my ‘summer read’ this year. I was not disappointed and ploughed straight through it in 4 days, enjoying every page. Mr Hobhouse’s history of the discovery and use of these five plants (6 in the new edition) is a real eye-opener and got me thinking about modern history in a totally new way. As a student of history, I thought I already knew a good deal about the slave trade and colonialism, for example. But ‘Seeds of Change’ really opened my mind to how the standard, linear account of history that plays up the role of kings and leaders is just one (very limited) way of thinking about the development of the modern world. If you are at all interested in history, and how the modern world was created, then you will love this book.

Read this book, after reading Hobhouse obituary.

I had to import book from to obtain at a reasonable price.

It is an astonishing book.

The obituary I read, indicated the book changed thinking.

It changed my thinking, and is the only book, I promulgate without reservation to anyone who will listen.

Hobhouse view of history is I suspect slightly skewed, having stated so. The skew stimulates thought.

Recommended. As is his other book ‘Seeds of Wealth’

Henry Hobhouse (24 December 1924 – 5 March 2016), was an English sailor, broadcaster, journalist, farmer, author, and politician, best known for his book Seeds of Change: Five Plants That Transformed Mankind.

After the war, Hobhouse found work with CBS, as one of US television’s earliest on-screen news reporters, before becoming a newspaper journalist in the US, for the Wall Street Journal. He returned to the UK and worked for The Economist, and The Daily Express.

In the 1950s, he moved back to Somerset, where he spent the rest of life running a farm on the family estate and became a Conservative Party county councillor in the 1980s. He was chairman of the county council from 1989 to 1992.

His 1985 book, Seeds of Change: Five Plants That Transformed Mankind, shows how the history of the world since Columbus “discovered” America has been changed by five plants: sugar, tea, cotton, the potato, and the cinchona (source of quinine). His obituary in The Guardian noted that “Seeds of Change altered the way we understand modern history”.

In the 1999 second edition of the book, Seeds of Change: Six plants that transformed mankind, Hobhouse added the coca plant to the list. In 2003, he published a follow-up book Seeds of Wealth: Four Plants That Made Men Rich covering timber, wine, rubber, and tobacco.

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