John Gerarde, The Herball, 1597 - roses, p.1079.

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Date:1597

Description:Roses feature more than once in Shakespeare’s plays.

Gerarde's Herbal gave Elizabethans the chance to see the plants that Shakespeare had in mind as he wrote certain scenes in his plays. In the first part of the play of Henry VI the leading members of the York and Lancaster parties meet in the Temple Garden in London, and choose their emblems, the roses, at the beginning of the civil wars which will be known throughout history as the Wars of the Roses: Richard of York urges his followers: ‘from off this brier pluck a white rose with me.’, while Somerset challenges ‘pluck a red rose from off this thorn with me’. (Henry VI, Part 1, 2,4, lines 30 and 33).


Full title: John Gerarde, The Herball, [colophon: Edm. Bollifant for Bonham and John Norton], 1597.


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Donor ref:SR/OS 97.3 [827] (32/10606)

Source: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust - Library

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