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Constance Spry, née Fletcher, was born in in Derby, England. She studied hygiene, physiology and district nursing in Ireland, and lectured on first aid and home care for the Irish Women's National Health Association. In 1910, she married James Heppell Marr, with whom she had a son. At the start of World War I in 1914, she was appointed secretary of the Dublin Red Cross. Two years later, she left her husband, and moved to England with her son to work as a welfare supervisor. In 1921, she was appointed headmistress of the Homerton and South Hackney Day Continuation School in east London, where she taught teenage factory workers about cooking, dressmaking, and flower arranging. In 1926, she remarried to her second husband Henry Ernest Spry. In 1928, she gave up teaching to open her own florist shop. She became a pioneering floral designer, causing a sensation in fashionable society for her exquisite arrangements using unusual flowers, materials, and containers. She published the first of several books, Flower Decoration, in 1934. In 1942, she published Come into The Garden, Cook, to help the war effort. In 1946, she opened a domestic science school with her friend Rosemary Hume in Winkfield, Berkshire. In 1953, Constance Spry was commissioned to arrange the flowers at Westminster Abbey and along the processional route for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Legendary rose breeder David Austin's first rose introduction, in 1961, was named "Constance Spry" after her. In 1956, Spry and Hume published the best-selling Constance Spry Cookery Book. Her books remained in print for many years after her death and her influence in floristry is still felt today.
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