The Rose

The Rose

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Description

Ever since Sappho planted roses at the shrine of Aphrodite, no flower has captured the imagination in quite the same way. Wherever it has grown, human beings have projected on to it their dreams and aspirations. 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. In The Rose, the acclaimed horticultural historian Jennifer Potter shows what, exactly, gives this most fragrant flower its potency in societies around the world. Beginning her story in the Greek and Roman empires, she 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. Whether laying 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, Jennifer Potter reveals why this flower, above all others, has provoked such fascination. This vividly written and lavishly illustrated book challenges many cherished beliefs about the rose. It looks set to establish itself as the definitive history of the Queen of Flowers.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 544 pages
  • 182 x 236 x 48mm | 1,542.21g
  • ATLANTIC BOOKS
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main
  • Over 125 integrated colour images throughout
  • 1848871775
  • 9781848871779
  • 409,521

About Jennifer Potter

Jennifer Potter is the author of four novels and five works of non-fiction, most recently Strange Blooms: The Curious Lives and Adventures of the John Tradescants; The Rose: A True History; and Seven Flowers and How They Shaped Our World, all three published by Atlantic Books. A regular reviewer for the Times Literary Supplement, she is currently a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at King's College London.

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Review quote

A truly sumptuous garden book with quite beautiful illustrations... A magnificent, wide-ranging study, which would make a generous and impressive present. The finest disquisition published thus far in the early history and symbolism of the rose. -- Tim Richardson Daily Telegraph Lavish, lushly illustrated... Richly kaleidoscopic without being bewildering... Jennifer Potter has succeeded in uncovering just why the rose has insinuated itself so tenaciously into the consciousness of every age and corner of the world. -- Kate Colquhoun Sunday Times Exquisite... A fine achievement that might now be judged the standard work on the history of the rose. -- Tim Richardson Literary Review A rare bloom indeed -- Boyd Tonkin Independent

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