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An Edwardian Lady’s Flower AlbumBOOK REVIEWS

An Edwardian Lady's Flower Album

Agnes Katherine Landale
France Lincoln
Distributed by Bookwise
Reviewed by Rob Gordon

SOME of us, like Mary Clare Cornwallis, will have fond childhood memories of roaming the house of an elderly relative and the excitement of discovering reminders of a bygone era.

For Cornwallis, it was "all manner of things - beads, ostrich feather fans, Ascot hats and leather spats." There was also a large green box containing, as she puts it, "the special treasure you are holding today", a beautifully bound book in green leather with gold lettering for the title: Flower Calendar 1913 A.K. Landale.

In the preface, Cornwallis traces the life of her great-grandmother Aggie Landale and describes the garden surrounding Aggie's large house in a Surrey village. Tended by a team of eight gardeners, it had far-reaching views to a lake, the village church and beyond. It was also the inspiration for this finely illustrated work that was completed just three years before her death.

With its verse and fresh watercolours depicting an intriguing range of flowers and plants, this is a happy reminder of the timeless joys of gardening and a pointer to a time when simple pleasures brought joy to others..

Weekend Gardener, Issue 184, 2005, Page 41

Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH

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