Saturday, November 28, 2009

Flora Mirabilis - A Book Review


Flora Mirabilis: How Plants Have Shaped World Knowledge, Health, Wealth, and Beauty
by Catherine Herbert Howell

256 pages
National Geographic, October 2009
List price: $35.00



When National Geographic joins with the Missouri Botanical Garden to produce a book about the history of plants, you know it's going to be something exceptional. Flora Mirabilis: How Plants Have Shaped World Knowledge, Health, Wealth, and Beauty is an intriguing look at the history of plants and how they've occupied places of distinction as their value and beauty were discovered.

Catherine H. Howell has created a time line of history, coupled with reproductions of more than 200 exquisite botanical illustrations, taking us from prehistory to the present:

  • Origins
  • Discovery
  • Exploration
  • Enlightenment
  • Empire
  • Science

There have been those plants that influenced the course of history, such as cotton, coffee, and cinchona, the latter from which we get quinine, used to treat malaria. Many others are highlighted and by the time you come to the end of the book, it leaves no doubt as to the invaluable part plants have played and continue to play in our lives.

Flora Mirabilis comes along just in time for gift-giving, not only for the gardener on your list, but for those who love history and want to know "the rest of the story."


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Catherine Herbert Howell has authored a number of natural history books for National Geographic, including Backyard Wilderness, Mountain Life, and four volumes in the Nature Library series, and has contributed to dozens of other books, among them National Geographic's Book of Peoples of the World, Expeditions Atlas, and The Curious Naturalist. She holds a master's degree in anthropology from the University of Virginia and is an enthusiastic - though very amateur - gardener.

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The product or merchandise being reviewed in this blog post was the sole compensation for testing and reviewing the product. All opinions expressed here are mine, with no suggestions whatsoever by the manufacturer or distributor. If I like it, I'll say so. If I don't, I'll say that, too.

4 comments:

GardenJoy4Me said...

Hi Kylee .. even though I have quite a few garden books .. there is always room for more and this sounds great ! Thanks for the heads up girl : )
Joy

Carolyn gail said...

I was lucky enough to win this book from Garden Girl and I've been enjoying it ever since.

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

OHHHHH....I have so many books, but i don't have this one. And of course I want it. I have dreams of visiting MOBot one of these days; I use their website plantfinder regularly.

Shannon said...

I just recieved this yesterday as a gift. It is a beautiful book. Can't wait to read it!

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