This beautiful illustration of a melon has an interesting story. It was drawn engraved and coloured by Elizabeth Blackwell in the mid 18th century, who did it to save her husband from debtor’s prison. She did over 500 engraving of rare and unfamiliar plants as part of “A Curious Herbal,” and sold the book bit by bit over 125 weeks. It was a success: people liked the meticulous illustration, and the botanists of the time needed a new herbal describing plants from the new world. She managed to raise enough money to pay their debts and free her husband.
What happens next? If you stop here, the story has a happy ending. If you go on, the story takes a weird turn.