Robert John Thornton’s ‘Temple of Flora’ is undoubtedly the most famous English botanical plate book ever produced. It was first issued in parts between the years 1799 and 1807 then as a book in 1807 before the famous lottery edition in 1811. The work was intended as a pictorial celebration of the sexual system of Linnaeus and was accompanied by prose and verse. Thornton (1768-1837) employed the finest artists, engravers, printers and colourists in its production. Its production exhausted his fortune and he turned to Parliament for permission to run a lottery to pay his debts. Each plant is in an exotic or romantic setting. Dunthorne (1938) 301; ‘Great Flower Books’ (1956) p. 77; Grigson and Buchanan (1951).