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Very mysterious and beautiful book. Just read the dust jacket story. Great for any collector. You will not find another original like this. Just the new reprints.
Sometimes called floriography, the language of flowers was a Victorian-era means of communication in which various flowers and floral arrangements were used to send coded messages often in the form of a small bouquet of blooms called a tussie-mussie. Being a lover of gardens as well as a lover of language, I found the idea of conveying meaning with flowers great. Written in 1913, it was the golden anniversary gift of one husband to his wife. It lay about for years afterward and was finally unearthed from a drawer and reproduced in England with the family’s permission and it is an absolute treasure. The pages are sepia tinted just as the original book’s pages must be by now, and the names of the flowers are hand-scripted in ink the color of well-steeped tea in one column with the meanings painstakingly inscribed on the facing page. Many of the pages are awash in the delicate renderings of water-colored blooms and plants. What a lot of work this husband did to convey his love to his wife. And all we know of him are his initials and his affection. “To Mother,” he inscribed. “Wishing you many happy returns of the day - from Father,” and then he has written the date, August 8, 1913. And beneath that he wrote:
There is a language, “little known”,
Lovers claim it as their own.
Its symbols smile upon the land,
Wrought by nature’s wondrous hand;
And in their silent beauty speak,
Of life and joy, to those who seek
For love divine and sunny hours
In the language of the flowers.
His initials follow, F.W.L.
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