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The lily is a flower of contradictions. It represents both life and death, appearing at weddings and funerals. In their pure white form, lilies are a symbol of innocence, chastity, and purity of heart, but in contrast, the highly fragrant and intensely colored orange lilies symbolize passion. In Lily, Marcia Reiss explores these paradoxes, tracing the flower's cultural significance in art, literature, religion and popular entertainment throughout history. Reiss journeys from the tomb carvings of ancient Egypt to the paintings of Claude Monet, Georgia O'Keeffe and Salvador Dali, exploring the lily as a subject of fascination and obsession. Unearthing many absorbing facts and fables about the blossom, she examines its use in cuisine and reveals them to have been a source of food and medicine in China for centuries. While Reiss focuses her attention on true lilies and the ornamental hybrids breeders have derived from them, she also provides extensive information about a wide variety of popular lilies, including daylilies, lilies of the valley, water lilies and calla lilies.
Filled with striking illustrations of these gorgeous plants, Lily is a book for gardeners and lily admirers alike.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 138 x 216 x 20.83mm | 566.99g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 50 colour, 50 black and white
  • 1780230931
  • 9781780230931
  • 1,801,104

Table of contents

Introduction: A Flower with Multiple Personalities 1 A Lily by Any Other Name 2 From the Ice Age to the Modern Age: The Journey of the True Lily 3 A Lily in Every Garden 4 Picturing Lilies 5 Milk, Sex and Blood: The Mythology of the Lily 6 As Pure as a Lily 7 The Sexiest Flower 8 Matters of Life and Death 9 Always Entertaining 10 A Lily a Day Keeps the Doctor Away 11 Lilies on Your Plate Epilogue: A Journey to Shushan Timeline of the Lily References Further Reading Associations and Websites Acknowledgements Photo Acknowledgements Index
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Review quote

"Lily and Pine are beautifully produced, with an old-fashioned and wonderfully solid feel to them; they are well illustrated with material from a very wide range of sources, and bound at a higher quality than the general run of hardback books, especially given the modest price. I can see them becoming collectors' items."--Gardens Illustrated
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About Marcia Reiss

Marcia Reiss is the author of many books on New York history and architecture. She has worked as a journalist, university professor, public official and advocate, and is an avid gardener.
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Rating details

5 ratings
4.2 out of 5 stars
5 60% (3)
4 0% (0)
3 40% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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