Book number: 94503 Product format: Hardback Author: Jennifer Potter

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Bibliophile price £12.50
Published price £27.50

'From whom did you steal that beauty? The rose laughs softly out of shame, but how should she tell?' - Rumi. Acclaimed horticultural historian Jennifer Potter shows that this most fragrant flower, the rose, has potency in societies around the world. She begins her story in the Greek and Roman empires and travels across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas to unravel its evolution from a simple briar of the northern hemisphere to the height of cultivated perfection found in rose gardens today. She lays bare the flower's long association with sexuality and secret societies, questioning the Crusaders' role in bringing roses back from the Holy Land, or hunting for its elusive blooms in the gardens of the Empress Josephine at Malmaison. An exquisitely beautiful heavyweight tome printed on quality paper and with hundreds of full page colour plates not only of roses but of archive paintings and historical artifacts and illuminated manuscripts, the book challenges many cherished beliefs about the rose and this thick tome looks to establish itself as the definitive history of the Queen of Flowers. Celebrated as a sacred symbol and as a token of womanhood, the rose unites Venus with the Virgin Mary, the blood of Christ with the sweat of Muhammad, the sacred and the profane, life and death, the white rose of chastity and the red rose of consummation. Not forgetting the delicate petals in different hues in the exquisite perfumes, we learn about roses which came to Europe from Turkey and Bulgaria and the Balkan mountains, rosemania and Redouté's exquisite portraits of their best creations which further inflamed passions. We have a 21st century view of cultivated roses be they old garden roses from Alba to tea and climbing tea, or modern roses like Floribunda to Polyantha. Chinese Whispers, American Beauties, the Housewife's Friend and its uses, here is trade and travel and sex and sorcery. 521 magnificent pages with approximately 100 colour illus. 16.5 x 24.1cm.
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Additional product information

ISBN 9781848878341

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