This section is from the book "The Fruit Manual: Containing The Descriptions And Synonyms Of The Fruits And Fruit Trees Of Great Britain", by Robert Hogg. Also available from Amazon: The Fruit Manual.
Fruit, large, and very variable in shape, some irregularly pyriform, and others obovate-turbinate, uneven and bossed in its outline. Skin, dingy yellow, with a tinge of brown next the sun, and strewed with small russety dots. Eye, open, with long segments, and set in a deep basin. Stalk, an inch to an inch and a half long, obliquely inserted in a close cavity. Flesh, white, crisp, juicy, sweet, and perfumed.
A dessert pear; ripe from December to March. The tree is tender, and requires to be grown against a wall, when the fruit is excellent and richly flavoured. In France this was for centuries considered the finest of all winter pears; but of late years, since the introduction of so many superior new varieties, it is only fit to be grown as a standard, and cultivated as a first-rate culinary pear; for this purpose also it is used in France. A French writer of the last century says, "If you are curious in large fruit, plant the Catillac Pound Pears and Double Fleur; but if you want quality, no pear surpasses the Martin Sire and Winter Bon Chrêtien for compotes. The coarse grain of the latter being fined by cooking, its juice becomes a syrup, and contains a perfume and natural sugar which cannot be communicated artificially."
In the Horticultural Society's Catalogue the Bon Chrêtien d'Auch is made synonymous with this variety, and doubtless what was received proved to be so; till February. The tree forms a handsome small pyramid, is quite hardy, and an excellent bearer. As grown at Teddington it is a good pear, but of rather flat flavour. "Not to be compared with Josephine de Malines."
Fruit, below medium size; roundish. Skin, lemon-yellow, marked with patches of cinnamon-coloured russet. Eye, open, set in a round, deep basin. Stalk, an inch long, inserted without depression. Flesh, buttery, melting, and juicy, rich, sugary, and well flavoured.
It ripens in November, when it rots at the core.
Fruit, medium sized; round, and somewhat flattened. Skin, at first pale lively green, gradually changing as it ripens to bright yellow, covered all over with numerous brown dots, and lined with russet. Eye, small and open, set in a small round depression. Stalk, an inch long, thick, and inserted in a small oblique cavity. Flesh, white, rather gritty, firm, crisp, and very juicy, with a pleasant aromatic flavour.
Winter Poplin. See Besi de Quessoy.
Fruit, small; pyri-form, considerably resembling the Rousselet de Rheims. Skin, at first bright green, changing to yellowish green as it ripens, and covered next the sun with dark red, strewed all over with numerous brown dots. Eye, small and open, with short rigid segments, and not at all depressed. Stalk, about three-quarters of an inch long, curved, and inserted without a cavity. Flesh, white, crisp, and juicy, and of a fine sugary and aromatic flavour.
A dessert pear; ripe from January to March. The tree is vigorous, succeeds well as a standard, either on the pear or quince stock, and is an excellent bearer. The Horticultural Society's Catalogue makes this synonymous with Martin Sec, erroneously.