Book Review: English Flowers from Foreign Fields

by Elizabeth Adlam published by Cappella Archive 1999 19.50.

Some years ago Elizabeth Adlam played a prominent role in the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust's affairs relating to education and publications. Since then she has retired from teaching and distilled a book from the many courses she gave on wild flowers for Birmingham University Department of Continuing Studies.

It gives me great pleasure to recommend her book to you. It traces the history of English flowers since the last ice age about 20,000 years ago to present times, especially in relation to social history. For example, we learn about the plants which colonised bare ground exposed when the ice retreated, and again when the Victorian railways and modern motorways scarified the countryside. She explains how the Normans, the Black Death, and the later Enclosure Acts affected the flowers She tells how many plants reached this country both naturally and by man - on Roman sandals and in shoddy from round the world. Her book is not a scientific treatise but an accurate, fascinating and easy to read history of our flowers. The book itself attractive, well-produced, and illustrated by 16 colour plates and lots of line drawings. Nice touches are drawings in the centre-fold looking at first like pressed flowers, and a built-in ribbon page marker.

Harry Green

The book is available from Cappella Archive, The Steps, Foley Terrace, Great Malvern, Worcs., WR14 4RQ, telephone 01684 565022

WBRC Home Worcs Record Listing by Issue Worcs Record Listing by Subject