A Victorian Flower Dictionary: The Language of Flowers by Mandy Kirkby

By Mandy Kirkby

“A flower isn't really a flower by myself; one thousand techniques make investments it.”
Daffodils sign new beginnings, daisies innocence. Lilacs suggest the first feelings of affection, periwinkles tender recollection. Early Victorians used flora that allows you to show their feelings—love or grief, jealousy or devotion. Now, modern day romantics are having fun with a resurgence of this bygone customized, and this publication will proportion the historic, literary, and cultural importance of vegetation with a complete new iteration. With lavish illustrations, a twin dictionary of flowers and meanings, and proposals for developing expressive preparations, this memento is the right compendium for everybody who has ever given or obtained a bouquet.

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Extra info for A Victorian Flower Dictionary: The Language of Flowers Companion

Sample text

William Morris, the craftsman and writer, disliked the fashionable and flamboyant flowers of the day, much preferring the simple and commonplace. His ‘Daisy’ pattern wallpaper was the first to be issued by Morris & Co. and was popular for over fifty years. In particular, it was bought for maids’ rooms and the bedrooms of young girls. from TO A MOUNTAIN DAISY ON TURNING ONE DOWN WITH THE PLOUGH, IN APRIL 1786 Wee, modest, crimson-tipp’d flow’r, Thou’s met me in an evil hour, For I maun crush amang the Stoure Thy slender stem: To spare thee now is past my pow’r, Thou bonnie gem.

Her letters described the sélam as a method of communication between lovers in which it was possible to send messages ‘without ever inking your fingers’, and gave examples of their meanings. She did not call this method of communication a language of flowers, nor did she suggest the creation of a western equivalent. ) and began to assign definitions to each flower based on literature, poetry, art and horticulture. The first western language of flowers dictionary, Le Langage des Fleurs, written in 1819 by Charlotte de Latour (a pseudonym), was so popular that it created a minor industry.

Makeshift stands support heaps of flowers in bundles held together with a ribbon. The lily of the valley is so profuse that even the Metro has a tinge of springtime sweetness, as commuters clutch fragrant bouquets of the delicate white flowers. And then, of course, there are the wedding ceremonies: from England to the United States and beyond, flowers play a part in every aspect of this important tradition, from the bridal bouquet to the centrepieces. At many weddings a flower girl precedes the bride, clutching a basket of rose petals and scattering them down the aisle.

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