Seen at the Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Book Review: Botanical Shakespeare

Botanical Shakespeare book cover
I had a lovely surprise yesterday when a copy of September's Herbs magazine landed on my doormat. Tucked away inside is my latest book review, Botanical Shakespeare.

I took my copy when I went to New Place in April. There, my guide at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust confirmed he was an expert amateur botanist. They even had a copy of Gerard's Herbal on display at the time to illustrate the texts he studied.

John Hall, Shakespeare's son-in-law, was a physician and his garden at Hall's Croft is filled with the plants he would have used in his remedies. Perhaps his knowledge also enhanced Shakespeare's, as they were known to be close. I look forward to viewing this garden alongside my Botanical Shakespeare when I return to Stratford later this year.

For those of you who aren't members of the Herb Society, you can read the pdf version of my review here.

6 comments:

  1. Very interesting!
    One of the colleges here has a Shakespeare Garden, but I have never stopped to look at the plants. Now that is on my 'must do' list!

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    1. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust looks after 5 gardens Lea. Each of them will reflect an aspect of Shakespeare's life and/or works.

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  2. Hi again!
    It sounds like Hall's Croft would be a place I'd like to visit too

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  3. Oh I've had a peek at your review VP and at the website you mentioned. Will no doubt return so thank you. I first realised Shakespeare's love and knowledge of plants when studying 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' for 'O' level English Literature. That fabulous extract beginning with the words 'I know a bank where the wild thyme blows' has been committed to memory ever since :)

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    Replies
    1. We studied that pre-O Level Anna, but I can't remember any of it apart from 'This lanthorn doth the horn-ed moon present'!

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