“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. From the Hardcover edition.
A beautiful gift book celebrating the forgotten language of flowers. "A flower is not a flower alone; A thousand thoughts invest it"All over the world, flowers are an integral part of human culture whether it is the perfect table centre for a wedding, a beautiful bouquet for a birthday, a message of thanks, or to pay one's respect at a funeral. But, while everyone knows that red roses signify love, few may realise that an entire language of flowers exists with every bloom, folliage and plant having a particular emotion attached, be it hazel for reconcilliation, wisteria for welcome or ivy for fidelity. This unique language was created by the romantic early Victorians who carefully planned every bouquet and posy so as to deliver a desired message. Bringing the language to a new generation, this beautifully illustrated miscellany contains fifty profiled flowers, a dictionary searchable by emotion, and ideas for creating bouquets and arrangements for specific occasions. This gift book is a novel present that any flower lover will want to own.
The eighteenth-century naturalist Erasmus Darwin (grandfather of Charles) argued that plants are animate, living beings and attributed them sensation, movement, and a certain degree of mental activity, emphasizing the continuity between humankind and plant existence. Two centuries later, the understanding of plants as active and communicative organisms has reemerged in such diverse fields as plant neurobiology, philosophical posthumanism, and ecocriticism. The Language of Plants brings together groundbreaking essays from across the disciplines to foster a dialogue between the biological sciences and the humanities and to reconsider our relation to the vegetal world in new ethical and political terms. Viewing plants as sophisticated information-processing organisms with complex communication strategies (they can sense and respond to environmental cues and play an active role in their own survival and reproduction through chemical languages) radically transforms our notion of plants as unresponsive beings, ready to be instrumentally appropriated. By providing multifaceted understandings of plants, informed by the latest developments in evolutionary ecology, the philosophy of biology, and ecocritical theory, The Language of Plants promotes the freedom of imagination necessary for a new ecological awareness and more sustainable interactions with diverse life forms. Contributors: Joni Adamson, Arizona State U; Nancy E. Baker, Sarah Lawrence College; Karen L. F. Houle, U of Guelph; Luce Irigaray, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris; Erin James, U of Idaho; Richard Karban, U of California at Davis; André Kessler, Cornell U; Isabel Kranz, U of Vienna; Michael Marder, U of the Basque Country (UPV-EHU); Timothy Morton, Rice U; Christian Nansen, U of California at Davis; Robert A. Raguso, Cornell U; Catriona Sandilands, York U.
Nice is the secret ingredient to a better life. It makes us happy. It may even be what makes us civilized—when we say thank you, shake hands, send flowers, we’re doing the nice things that bring people together. ?A compulsive and chunky book for lovers of trivia, popular history, customs, and culture—and a perfect gift to say “you’re nice”—The Book of Nice is an entertaining, quirky compendium of those signs, traditions, and expressions that we so often take for granted, yet turn out to be quite fascinating. It’s about why we cover a yawn (originally to prevent evil spirits from entering our bodies, now to hide the impression that something’s boring us). About holiday traditions—it’s thanks to Guy Lombardo’s December 31 broadcast in 1929 that we now sing “Auld Lang Syne” on New Year’s Eve. About customary offerings—the wedding cake evolved out of the Roman use of wheat as a symbol of fertility (and it’s much tastier than bits of grain). And about those simple yet essential niceties—how Thomas Edison championed an obscure term, “hello” (if Alexander Graham Bell had gotten his way, we’d all be saying “ahoy”). Why not put a little nice in your day?