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Orchid Muse

A History of Obsession in Fifteen Flowers

18 November 2022


Fifteen stories of obsession starring these dazzling flowers, enhanced by radiant four-colour art

Orchids, the epitome of floral beauty, have long inspired poetry, adventure, art and scientific discovery. In Orchid Muse, historian and home orchid grower Erica Hannickel brings together fascinating tales of the orchid-smitten throughout history, along with tips on growing the exotic blooms at the centre of each account. Consider, for instance, Empress Eugénie and Queen Victoria, the two most powerful women in nineteenth-century Europe, who shared a passion for Coelogyne cristata. John Roebling, builder of the Brooklyn Bridge, and Raymond Burr, the actor famed for playing Perry Mason, cultivated thousands of orchids, introducing captivating new and unusual species. Transporting the reader from hazardous Amazonian journeys to a seedy dime museum in Gilded Age New York’s Tenderloin, from the glories of the palace gardens of Chinese Empress Cixi to the island of Bourbon, where the vanilla orchid thrives, Orchid Muse spans the world, exploring our enduring fascination with these exquisite flowers.



156 x 235 mm • 320 pages


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