“From the meaning of carnations in Sex and the City to the use of sunflowers in the cleanup of Chernobyl, from Henry VIII’s ban on saffron dye in Ireland to the modernist reinventions of roses, this is no ordinary flower book, and Kasia Boddy is no ordinary writer.”-Ali Smith, author of Spring
“Fresh, novel . . . and unclassifiable.”-Publishers Weekly
The bright yellow of a marigold and the cheerful red of a geranium, the evocative fragrance of a lotus or a saffron-infused paella-there is no end of reasons to love flowers. Ranging through the centuries and across the globe, Kasia Boddy looks at the wealth of floral associations that has been passed down in perfumes, poems, and paintings; in the design of buildings, clothes, and jewelry; in songs, TV shows, and children’s names; and in nearly every religious, social, and political ritual.
Exploring the first daffodils of spring and the last chrysanthemums of autumn, this is also a book about seasons. In vibrant detail and drawing on a rich array of illustrations, Boddy considers how the sunflower, poppy, rose, lily-and many others-have given rise to meaning, value, and inspiration throughout history, and why they are integral to so many different cultures.