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Chasing the Rose: An Adventure in the Venetian Countrysideby Andrea Di Robilant
Synopses & Reviews
Andrea di Robilant was born in Italy and educated at Columbia University, where he specialized in international affairs. He is the author of A Venetian Affair, Lucia: A Venetian Life in the Age of Napoleon, and Irresistible North: From Venice to Greenland on the Trail of the Zen Brothers. He lives in Rome.
"Di Robilant takes readers on a gentle meander in this memoir inspired by a rose he discovered while researching the biography of his great-great-great-great-grandmother, Lucia Mocenigo, a friend of Josephine Bonaparte, which became A Venetian Affair (2003). Although di Robilant's family had not been connected to the small town of Alvisopoli in the Venetian countryside for 100 years, he was curious about the town and set out to see it for himself. On a visit, a caretaker showed him a fragrant, silvery pink rose the locals called rosa moceniga, but no one had been able to identify its origins. Of course, for a writer and historical researcher, that's a delicious challenge. Di Robilant researches the history of the rose in France and Italy in search of this special rose's beginnings. Along the way, he meets a variety of eccentrics, such as Eleonora Garlant and her garden of 1,500 roses (and growing). He also learns the anecdotes behind many of the named roses, including the Baltimore Belle, named for Elizabeth Patterson, who married Napoleon's younger brother JÃ©rome; and the Catherine de WÃ¼rttembeg, the woman Napoleon forced JÃ©rome to marry. History and anecdote abound on this entertaining journey with di Robilant on his quest to get the rose officially named by the American Rose Society." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
The author of the best-selling A Venetian Affair now gives us a charming chronicle of his search for a fabled antique rose-a tale that takes us back to the time of Josephine Bonaparte, and looks into the future of this much beloved flower.
In his 2008 biography of the great Italian lady Lucia Mocenigo (his great-great-great-great grandmother), Andrea di Robilant described a pink rose that grows wild on the family's former country estate. This led to an invitation for an audience with the humble but deeply knowledgeable doyenne of European roses, Sra. Eleonora Garlant. Could this unnamed rose possibly be the long-lost Rose Bichonne, a China rose that nineteenth-century growers cultivated but which had apparently disappeared since? In search of the identity of the anonymous rose, Di Robilant finds himself captivated by rose-o-philes through time-from Lucia and her dear friend Josephine Bonaparte to the brilliant Sra. Garlant, whose garden of nearly 1500 species is one of the most significant in Europe-and by the old roses themselves, each of which has a tale to tell. Illustrated in full color, the book will delight rose lovers, European travelers, and amateur historians in equal measure.
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