By Mandy Kirkby
“A flower isn't really a flower on my own 1000 strategies make investments it.” Daffodils sign new beginnings, daisies innocence. Lilacs suggest the 1st feelings of affection, periwinkles smooth recollection. Early Victorians used plant life for you to exhibit their feelings—love or grief, jealousy or devotion. Now, modern day romantics are having fun with a resurgence of this bygone customized, and this booklet will percentage the old, literary, and cultural importance of plants with an entire new iteration. With lavish illustrations, a twin dictionary of vegetation and meanings, and proposals for developing expressive preparations, this memento is the suitable compendium for everybody who has ever given or bought a bouquet.
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Extra info for A Victorian Flower Dictionary: The Language of Flowers Companion
Graves would be cleaned, weeded and whitewashed before being decked with garlands of plants, the paying of respects to the dead. It is said that the connection with mournful and unlucky matters comes from the old story that the name ‘daffodil’ is said to derive from the medieval Latin affodilus, and asphodelos in Greek – the asphodel, the plant that grew in the meadows of the underworld. DAHLIA Dignity The regal and stately dahlia was first discovered by Europeans during the Spanish conquest of Mexico in the sixteenth century, where it grew in the gardens of the Aztecs.
A number of studies of Shakespeare’s flowers were published in the nineteenth century, the most popular being The Flowers of Shakespeare by Jane Giraud in 1845. Quotations from the plays and sonnets were accompanied by exquisite floral illustrations. The book would be given as a gift, to be lingered over on sunny afternoons. The eglantine appears several times; here, for example, in the description of Titania’s bower: I know a bank where the wild thyme blows, Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows, Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine, With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine.
Once the funeral had taken place, the cypress would make its final appearance, as a small embossed image on a memorial card, serving as a reminder to the mourners to pray for the soul of the departed. Other symbols – an inverted torch (the extinguishing of life), a broken column, a serpent with its tail in its mouth (immortality) – would reinforce its meaning. WHEN I AM DEAD, MY DEAREST When I am dead, my dearest, Sing no sad songs for me; Plant thou no roses at my head, Nor shady cypress tree: Be the green grass above me With showers and dewdrops wet; And if thou wilt, remember, And if thou wilt, forget.
A Victorian Flower Dictionary: The Language of Flowers Companion by Mandy Kirkby