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Gifts from the Gardens of China

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Gifts from the Gardens of China Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Many of the worldand#8217;s most renowned and exciting ornamental plantsand#151;including magnolias, roses, rhododendrons, tree peonies, lilies, and blue poppiesand#151;have their origins in China. In the mid-nineteenth century, professional plant hunters were dispatched by nurseries and botanic gardens to collect living botanical specimens from China for cultivation in Europe, and it is these adventurers and nurserymen who are often credited with the explosive bloom of Chinese flowers in the West.

But as Jane Kilpatrick shows in Fathers of Botany, the first Westerners to come upon and document this bounty were in fact cut from a different cloth: the clergy. Following the Opium Wars, European missionaries were the first explorers to dig further into the Chinese interior and send home evidence of one of the richest and most varied floras ever seen, and it was their discoveries that caused a sensation among Western plantsmen. Both men of faith and talented botanists alike, these missionaries lent their names to many of the plants they discovered, but their own stories disappeared into the leaf litter of history. Drawing on their letters and contemporary accounts, Kilpatrick focuses on the lives of four great French missionary botanistsand#151;Pand#232;res Armand David (of Davidia involucrataand#151;the dove treeand#151;and discoverer of the giant panda), Jean Marie Delavay, Paul Guillaume Farges, and Jean Andrand#233; Souliand#233;and#151;as well as a group of other French priests, Franciscan missionaries, and a single German Protestant pastor who all amassed significant plant collections, as she unearths a lost chapter of botanical history. In so doing, she reminds todayand#8217;s gardeners and botanistsand#151;and any of us who stop to smell the rosesand#151;of the enormous debt owed to these obscure fathers of botany.

Synopsis:

The first plant enthusiasts to reach China found a wonderful array of unfamiliar garden plants that had been nurtured by Chinese gardeners for thousands of years. This is the story of the struggles, the daring and the dogged perseverance of those early collectors. Where would we be without magnolias, camellias, chrysanthemums, tree peonies, repeat-flowering roses, viburnums and so many more? Jane Kilpatrick writes with knowledge and affection of the amateur pioneers and the plants they introduced to an audience that had not realized the flowers they had seen on wallpapers, silks and ceramics could be real.

Synopsis:

The first to come upon the bounty of Chinese flowers were Catholic missionary priests who were also remarkable botanists. They spent hours collecting in their districts, and sending dry specimens back to European botanists. Many of the plants they discovered carry their names, but few know of the David behind Davidia involucrata, or the Hugonis of Rosa hugonis. The chapters in this work focus primarily on the lives of four great French missionary botanistsand#151;Pere Armand David, Pere Jean Marie Delavay, Pere Guilaume Farges, and Pere Jean Andre Soulieand#151;and also a group of other French priests and Franciscan missionaries who collected, in addition to one German pastor, the only Protestant missionary to make significant plant collections. Pere David is among the best known, having discovered the Giant Panda, but the others have disappeared into the thick of history. This book will help ensure that todayand#8217;s gardeners and botanists appreciate the debt owed to this obscure group, drawing on their journals, drawings, and other historical documents.

Synopsis:

Celebrates the skilled gardeners of Imperial China through new research that opens a new chapter in the story of our garden plants.

About the Author

Jane Kilpatrick is an Oxford-educated freelance historian and garden writer who is based in the UK. She is the author of Gifts from the Gardens of China: The Introduction of Traditional Chinese Garden Plants to Britain 1698-1862.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780711226302
Subtitle:
The Discovery of Chinese Plants by European Missionaries
Author:
Kilpatrick, Jane
Publisher:
University Of Chicago Press
Subject:
History
Subject:
Asia - China
Subject:
Ornamental Plants
Subject:
China
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
Gardening-History and Theory
Subject:
Gardening-Landscape and Design
Subject:
Botany
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20141222
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
250 color plates
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
11 x 9.38 in

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Nursing
History and Social Science » World History » China
Home and Garden » Gardening » Asian Gardens
Home and Garden » Gardening » History and Theory
Home and Garden » Gardening » Landscape and Design
Home and Garden » Gardening » World
Transportation » General

Gifts from the Gardens of China Sale Hardcover
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Product details 224 pages Frances Lincoln - English 9780711226302 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
The first plant enthusiasts to reach China found a wonderful array of unfamiliar garden plants that had been nurtured by Chinese gardeners for thousands of years. This is the story of the struggles, the daring and the dogged perseverance of those early collectors. Where would we be without magnolias, camellias, chrysanthemums, tree peonies, repeat-flowering roses, viburnums and so many more? Jane Kilpatrick writes with knowledge and affection of the amateur pioneers and the plants they introduced to an audience that had not realized the flowers they had seen on wallpapers, silks and ceramics could be real.
"Synopsis" by ,
The first to come upon the bounty of Chinese flowers were Catholic missionary priests who were also remarkable botanists. They spent hours collecting in their districts, and sending dry specimens back to European botanists. Many of the plants they discovered carry their names, but few know of the David behind Davidia involucrata, or the Hugonis of Rosa hugonis. The chapters in this work focus primarily on the lives of four great French missionary botanistsand#151;Pere Armand David, Pere Jean Marie Delavay, Pere Guilaume Farges, and Pere Jean Andre Soulieand#151;and also a group of other French priests and Franciscan missionaries who collected, in addition to one German pastor, the only Protestant missionary to make significant plant collections. Pere David is among the best known, having discovered the Giant Panda, but the others have disappeared into the thick of history. This book will help ensure that todayand#8217;s gardeners and botanists appreciate the debt owed to this obscure group, drawing on their journals, drawings, and other historical documents.
"Synopsis" by , Celebrates the skilled gardeners of Imperial China through new research that opens a new chapter in the story of our garden plants.
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