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The Flowers Personified


now available in paperback Volume I

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more information

Flower Names
Flower Meaning
Flower Fairy Tales

The Flowers Personified introduction

The Flowers
The hand-colored plates

The Flower Fairy
How and why the Flowers became human

The Story of Two Shepherdesses,
the Blonde and the Brunette: and of a Queen of France

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5]
[6] [7] [8] [9] [10]
(Bluebottle, Corn poppy and Lily)

The Poet Jacobus Supposed He Had Found a Subject For An Epic Poem
(Pansy)  The secret language of flowers

Alphabetical list of Flower names in English, French & Latin with Meaning

Alphabetical list of Flower Meanings

Flora Timekeeping
Flora's Clock
The Floral Week
The Calendar of Flora

A Trick of the Flower Fairy

The Sultana Tulipia
[1] [2] [3] [4]

Fragments Taken at Random from the album of the rose
[1] [2] [3] [4]
[5] [6] [7] [8] [9]


Serious Displute In Relation to the Violet: Between The Flower Fairy and An Academy Which Prefers To Remain Anonymous.

(Water Lily)


MARGUERTINE The Oracle of the Meadows

CANZONE - The Flower of Forgetfulness

Flowers of the Ball-room


The Everlasting Flower

Differences in Plates

The Flowers

Differences in Bindings






           The ship of Mynheer Van Clipp, laden with a valuable cargo of sugar, coffee, indigo, and spices of every description, was sailing at the rate of twelve knots an hour.

           Every thing promised a fortunate voyage. The worthy owner, sitting at the prow, was thinking of the time when he should again see his little mansion at Haerlem, so neat and bright; his neatly raked garden; and above all, his darling tulips.

           Mynheer Van Clipp had shed bitter tears when he found it necessary to leave these flowers of his affections. The death of a brother to whom he as sole heir, had called him to Java. Having settled the estate, he was returning to his country, accompanied by his daughter, the incomparable Tulipia. It was the father’s choice, that the most beautiful of girls should bear the name of the most beautiful of flowers. And she fully justified the designation. For, though her fresh and brilliant complexion, and her dignified gait, attracted admiration, she was deficient in that vivacity of disposition, and warmth of soul, and activity of person, which constitute the most pleasing charm of youth. The tulip is without fragrance.

           Van Clipp, as he smoked away, called up in imagination the pleasures which awaited him in Holland. First, there were improvements to be made in his greenhouse; and his collection of tulips must be enlarged. For this no sacrifice would seem great. Then, turning to account his leisure hours, he put the finishing stroke to his great work on tulips, which was to contain the history of this flower from the creation of the world down to our day.

           The subject was copious, and Van Clipp had already executed one portion of the work. He explained the method of imparting to the tulip all the prismatic hues, from the brightest to the most delicate tint. There was the culture of the spotted – the speckled – those which are striped like the zebra – and of those which seem covered with flames, or with embroidery. Then were described the tulip of twenty shades – the jasper tulip, the variegated, the paragon – and the tulip covered with small eyes.

           Pursuing his narrative, Van Clipp recounted the strong measures adopted by the states-general to prevent the Dutch, under penalty of confiscation and exile, from dealing in tulips.

           It is true that the passion for tulips had been carried to a foolish extreme. All the money in the country was absorbed in flower-pots. One tulip – the viceroy – had been sold for thirty-six sacks of wheat, seventy-two sacks of rice, four fat oxen, twelve sheep, eight swine, two hogsheads of wine, four casks of beer, two tons of salted butter, one hundred pounds of cheese, and a large silver vase. Ten tulip-bulbs had produced at public auction, twenty-four thousand francs. An amateur once offered twelve acres of land for a single small bulb. A peasant having found on his master’s desk several tulip-bulbs, cut them up for a salad, supposing them to be common onions. This salad was worth a hundred thousand francs.

           He described the influence of the tulip over mankind in general, and over the Turks in particular – a nation which has had the good taste to imitate, in their head-dresses, the form of this flower.

           One whole chapter was devoted to the description of the tulip festival, which every year, at the opening of spring, is celebrated with great magnificence in the seraglio of the grand seignior. The work was written entirely in Latin, as becomes a work so important and dignified.

           While her father was thus dreaming of future joys, the fair Tulipia was asleep in her hammock.

           Van Clipp was about lighting his second pipe, when a loud report was heard, and a cannon-ball lodged in one of the portholes.

           “What does that mean?” cried Van Clipp.

           “It means,” replied the captain, “that we are attacked by a Barbary pirate.”

           “We must defend ourselves.”

           “With what? With this spy-glass?”

           A second cannon was fired, and the ball cut in two the topmast.

           The captain ordered the flag to be struck.

           In one hour from that time Van Clipp, his daughter the beautiful Tulipia, his sugar, his coffee, his indigo, and his spices, had all gone on board the corsair. A month later, the worthy Dutchman was digging the garden of an old Turk, who set him to raising cabbages and turnips instead of tulips. His daughter was kept for the sultan’s harem.


Section 1 of 4    [2] [3] [4]



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