John Gerarde, The Herball, 1597 - narcissus, p.108.

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Date:1597

Description:Flowers for enjoyment in Shakespeare's England.

The Elizabethans loved colour of all kinds in their embroidered and decorated clothes. The often elaborate painted wall-hangings of their homes frequently used flowers in their designs. Flowers in their gardens were grown for pleasure as well as for their medicinal, or kitchen use. In The Winter’s Tale, 4,4, lines 73-79 and lines 102-108) Perdita distributes flowers to her guests, and in Hamlet the mad Ophelia hands out flowers to the courtiers who stand around: ‘There’s fennel for you, and columbines. There’s rue for you; and here’s some for me' (4,5, lines 179-184).


Full title: John Gerarde, The Herball, [colophon: Edm. Bollifant for Bonham and John Norton], 1597. Copy with contemporary hand-colouring.)


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1570s
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1590s
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1610s
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1630s
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Donor ref:SR/OS 97.3 [827] (32/10511)

Source: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust - Library

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