Following New Shoot's comment on the last post, I feel I should explain that I bought the RHS Council Reports solely for the amusement of looking at the 20 to 30 pages of adverts at the back, featuring such things as boots for horses (so that they wouldn’t damage the turf as they pulled enormous lawnmowers), since the rest seemed to be a list of RHS members (all 170 pages of them).
But I've since had a closer look and the results are, I have to admit, mildly interesting. As I have said the last 30-odd pages are ads, and the first 8 pages are also ads, but imbedded within them are such things as Notices to Fellows, including offers of free poppy seeds from the RHS's then Secretary Rev Wilks (breeder of the Shirley poppies no less).
There is then the 10 page annual report, plus accounts. After that there is a list of the RHS council and officers, followed by a list of the Victoria Medal holders
Strange how some of the names like Gertrude Jekyll and Ellen Willmott, have remained well known, but others such as Rev Charles Wolley Dod, a hugely well known horticulturalist in his day, are not familiar to most gardeners today.
On closer inspection, even the list of members is vaguely interesting, including as it does the likes of Reg Farrer.
It does emphasise how, in many ways, the Edwardian period represents a high-water mark of British Gardening.