Botanical Shakespeare

Plants and Poetry.

botanical shakespeareWhat a fascinating volume! Botanical Shakespeare: An Illustrated Compendium of All the Flowers, Fruits, Herbs, Trees, Seeds, and Grasses Cited by the World’s Greatest Playwright – to give it the full title – is a gift for any gardener or lover of the Bard.

We all, I am sure, appreciate sumptuous photography but hand-drawn illustrations are so unique and special, and illustrator Sumie Hasegawa Collins has done some fine work here. Sumi is also the person who devised the concept. These beautiful paintings are thoughtfully paired with Shakespeare’s words, collated and edited by Gerit Quealy. Helen Mirren wrote the foreword, so a polished group altogether.

I find it surprising that Shakespeare had so many plant, tree, fruit and flower quotes. Botanical Shakespeare is that noteworthy tome which might encourage some folks to take up a quill and scribe a word or two on a terracotta label and hang it on their favourite shrub. But there are even quotes regarding weeds, so this book will likely have popular appeal!

“Here’s flowers for you; hot lavender, mints, savory, and marjoram.” – Purdita, A Winter’s Tale.

Botanical Shakespeare
Author: Gerit Quealy
Illustrator: Sumie Hasegawa Collins
Published: HarperDes
Price: £20.00
ISBN-13: 978-0062469892