See Beverly Seaton, The Language of Flowers, A History. University Press of Virginia, 1995
by LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS
Various publishers, places and dates of publication, 1655-1900, 1655. See Beverly Seaton, The Language of Flowers, A History. University Press of Virginia, 1995. Overall in good to fine condition. A catalogue with full descriptions is available via pdf at our website, www.brickrow.com, on the catalogues page.. Over 100 titles, with one manuscript and one ephemeral item, in original or contemporary bindings, except as noted, profusely illustrated, primarily with lithographs and chromolithographs. The core of the collection was assembled by Doris Ann Elmore, a French teacher in San Francisco and lifelong Francophile. The collection is unusual for its scope. The Language of Flowers phenomenon flourished for almost eighty years, beginning in France in the early 19th century. As both potent and subtle symbols in Western culture, flowers are found in religious texts, poetry, heraldic, and emblematic literature from the classical period and early Christianity, through medieval literature and the enlightenment. In the early 19th century books were written and published for the first time under titles such as Abécédaire de Flore ou Langage des Fleurs (1811), Oracles de Flore (1816), Emblemes de Flore et des Végéaux (1819) and Le Langage des Fleurs (1819). With those publications, the language of flowers and its exploration of floral symbolism in communication - usually as a language of love and romance - gained acceptance and popularity. By 1830, the genre was widely available to a new world of fervent book buyers and readers in the working and middle classes. The vogue for language of flowers books was so prevalent that it became the subject of parodies and satires by, among others, Frederick Marryat and J. J. Grandville. Herman Melville was a devotee of symbolic flower language and referred to it in Mardi and Pierre and poems written to his wife Lizzie.
(Inventory #: 28080)