Did you think I had forgotten about my Book and Reader dating agency? I mean March is almost over and not a whisper. Do not fear, all is well. You can’t hurry love.
The happy couple this month are the book Flowers and my friend the delightful Cathy. I like to call her Swotty. She is an eco-warrior, she loves flowers and the world.
I found this little book in a covered market in a nearby town. The cover is repaired and retorn, and features the humble daisy. It was love at first sight, quite irresistible, and I wanted it for myself. But that was not meant to be.
It is a book for children, with text by C E Smith and drawings by Janet Harvey Kelman. Although I can’t find a date anywhere in the book, I think this edition might have been produced in late 1920’s to early 1930’s. Inside the front cover, in pencil, the name Josephine Fulford – Upper IIIP is written. I love that. A tangible link to the past. One that gets you thinking: who was Josephine and what became of her? Did she marry and have a family, are her descendants close by? Perhaps she became a famous botanist or naturalist. Did she love the book or were her botanical studies a chore? I am hoping this mini-tome was a joy to her and inspired a lifelong love of nature.
For ease of identification, the book is divided by colour, illustrated by 48 colour plates. These plates are quite stunning. You won’t find any tongue twisting Latin names here, just evocative common ones: Dog’s Mercury, Mouse-eared Chickweed, Brooklime Speedwell, Biting Stonecrop, Tormentil. Beautiful words, a salve to the tongue. Words to be said out loud, to be savoured and tasted. And all for 3/6, three shillings and sixpence. A bargain.