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The Language of Flowers: a Miscellany by…

The Language of Flowers: a Miscellany (2011)

by Mandy Kirkby

Other authors: Vanessa Diffenbaugh (Introduction)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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A Victorian Flower Dictionary by Mandy Kirkby and Vanessa Diffenbaugh is a wonderful companion to Diffenbaugh’s novel, The Language of Flowers. Beginning with a few introductory pages Diffenbaugh writes that, “In every culture throughout time, flowers have been central to the human experience.” The book is arranges in alpha order from anemone to weeping willow and illustrates in simple two color illustration the flower that is being defined and explored. There are fifty flowers highlighted and the information and poetry is descriptive. As Diffenbaugh explains, this book was designed as a relevant dictionary for the modern reader and it serves that function well. If you are a lover of flowers and exploring their history and meanings, this would be a good addition to your library. Happy reading and gardening. ( )
  WeeziesBooks | May 25, 2012 |
Most South Africans steer clear of those books of the secret language of flowers [why it’s still a secret after the many books published on the subject is a mystery] so beloved of the Victorians because they contain completely foreign names like Bells of Ireland, Everlasting Pea and Wax Flower.

Kirkby is English and her book does contain some unusual [to us] flowers but for the most part they are common garden favourites that thrive in South Africa, such as the nasturtium, rose, daisy – and 47 others.

The entries are arranged alphabetically, and each contains a drawing, the meaning of the plant, its history, some cultural references and a verse about the flower – usually taken from a Victorian poet. There is also an ‘emotional index’ and suggestions of flowers for special occasions.

It must be mentioned that the drawings, although charming, are inept and that the book was conceived as a companion volume to foreword writer Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s debut novel [‘The Language of Flowers’ redux] but none of that detracts from the appeal of the book, delightfully designed, satisfyingly sized and altogether delectable. ( )
  adpaton | Oct 18, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mandy Kirkbyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Diffenbaugh, VanessaIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Witt, ElsbethTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345532864, Hardcover)

“A flower is not a flower alone; a thousand thoughts invest it.”
Daffodils signal new beginnings, daisies innocence. Lilacs mean the first emotions of love, periwinkles tender recollection. Early Victorians used flowers as a way to express their feelings—love or grief, jealousy or devotion. Now, modern-day romantics are enjoying a resurgence of this bygone custom, and this book will share the historical, literary, and cultural significance of flowers with a whole new generation. With lavish illustrations, a dual dictionary of flora and meanings, and suggestions for creating expressive arrangements, this keepsake is the perfect compendium for everyone who has ever given or received a bouquet.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:53 -0400)

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Early Victorians used flowers as a way to express their feelings-- love or grief, jealousy or devotion. Now modern-day romantics are enjoying a resurgence of this bygone custom. Kirkby shares the historical literary, and cultural significance of flowers.… (more)

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