ABOUT THIS BOOK
First published in 1958, this compendium on the history of flowers has lost almost none of its bloom. With a flair for research and citation, E. Buckner Hollingsworth draws on folklore, poetry, annals of medicine, and gardening manuals to report essential historical information on the domestication of garden favorites before they were grown as ornamental plants. Organized by species, Flower Chronicles brims with literary and historical references, anecdotes, and digressions on the lives of merchants, housewives, perfumers, and surgeons. Though she writes with a light touch, Hollingsworth tackles Greek literature, Shakespeare, De Quincey, and Herrick.
A tremendously entertaining and charming book, not only for its richness of information but because Hollingsworth clearly enjoys her material, Flower Chronicles has an antiquarian feel about it-with line drawings, woodcuts, and translations from the Greek—but the text never feels dated. Out of print for nearly thirty years, Flower Chronicles reemerges as a garden literature classic.
"With humor and literary taste, Mrs. Hollingworth has compiled an astonishing amount of scholarly yet entertaining material from her studies in archaeology and mythology and her researches in ancient pharmacopeias, botanies, cookbooks, herbals, and stillroom books."-New Yorker
"Mrs. Hollingsworth writes gaily and quotes from old books, with a wonderful taste for the curious English of Elizabethan gardeners, and sharp notice of what poets and translators of talent have set down. To this she has added the excitement of discovery of forms not noticed by her predecessors."-New York Herald Tribune Book Review