||c1886 Poets in the Garden Book Vintage Horticulture Gardening Botanical Herb Flower Illustrated Chromolithographs Rose Dahlia Lily Geranium Hollyhock Jasmine Language Poetry of Flowers May Crommelin
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Poets in the Garden Book Antique Victorian
This gorgeous 1886 rare book has several illustrated full-page chromolithographs of garden flowers. It is entitled Poets in the Garden, and is authored by May Crommelin. The color flower plates are just incredible, vivid as the day they were printed. Inside, each flower is listed in alphabetical order, with its accompanying, fascinating history and flora details, followed by lovely prose and poetry. Each page has a line and leaf cartouche that couches the text within. Some of the verses are by poets such as Tennyson, while others are by distinguished authors of the period.
A few sample excerpt read:
"Foxglove: An old English name for Foxgloves was Lady's Fingers. Also, Parkinson, about the beginning of the seventeenth century, says, 'We call them generally, in English Foxeglove; but some (as thinking it to bee too foolish a name), doe call them Finger-flowers, because they are like unto the fingers of a glove, the ends cut off'."
"Mignonette: Hood's comical lover carries his woe to a difficult pitch when he wishes to be buried in his mistress's mignonette-box. Although the wooer of the Miller's daughter express no such longing, it will be remembered how his passion began for the fair Alice. He first sees her, and loves, as she looks out of the window where that morning she had set---a long green box of mignonette."
"Orchis: The orchis roots were frequently used for making salep as a drink. The warm basin of salep was the old saloop-house, once as well known as the cup of mocha and the modern coffee house."
"Rosemary: Literally, spray of the sea! The very name brings with it thoughts of the salt wind, blowing fresh round from some far-jutting cape, or grim iron-grey cliffs, the last of the land, where this hardy plant loves to dwell."
At the back is a quick reference to all the flowers detailed within. Victorians were obsessed with the meaning and sentiment of flowers. Often a young lass would be presented with a single flower from an admiring gentleman, and in that flower would be a hidden sentiment sent from the man to her. A bouquet of many flowers conjured up several emotions. It was incumbent upon both ladies and gentlemen to be familiar with the Language and Poetry of Flowers, for it bespoke many things that could not be said in an open verbal encounter.
This hardbound green cloth covered book has beveled boards with gilt text on both the cover and spine. The pages are gilt tipped. The inside pages are on a heavier stock and are very clean and unmarked. One or two may have a 1/4" turn to the paper to mark a favorite passage. 255 pages, in VG-NF condition. This is a scarce book and the colored flower plates are just remarkable. A bit of ghosting from the heavy inks used may have occurred on a few adjacent pages, mentioned only for accuracy and quite normal for a book of this period. Overall size is 6.5 x 8.25 inches, a fine book for the library, as well as a gift for the gardener, horticulturist, and lover of poetry.
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