By M. M. Mahood
For hundreds of years, poets were ensnared - as considered one of their quantity, Andrew Marvell placed it - through the great thing about vegetation. Then, from the center of the eighteenth century onward, that leisure used to be enriched by means of a surge of well known curiosity in botany. along with exploring the connection among poetic and medical responses to the fairway international in the context of humanity's altering recommendations of its personal position within the ecosphere, Molly Mahood considers the half that flowering vegetation performed within the day-by-day lives and consequently within the literary paintings of a few writers who might all be known as poet-botanists: Erasmus Darwin, George Crabbe, John Clare, John Ruskin and D. H. Lawrence. A concluding bankruptcy appears to be like heavily on the meanings, previous or new, that crops retained or received within the violent 20th century.
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Additional info for The Poet as Botanist
Correspondence, vol. VIII, p. 248. , p. 284. 59 Darwin, like many another researcher, had been on the wrong track. The notion that heterostyly – to give the phenomenon its modern ‘hard word’ name – was a stage towards the evolution of single-sex plants had to be abandoned. But Gray’s suggestion of its being a means to achieve intercrossing, an idea already sufficiently formed for him to have netted a few flowers on one cowslip plant and noted that they failed to set seed, now took possession of Darwin, who began to marshal his forces for a spring attack.
And this last approach was beginning to take them deep into her secrets. Already in the Interregnum, at the time Marvell was creating his unique version of pastoral, the new spirit was showing itself in the researches of a young Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. Ordered by his doctor to leave his books for the open air, John Ray found himself inspired by the beauty of wild flowers and the ‘cunning craftsmanship’ of Nature that they revealed. 21 True to these principles, Ray examined each species where it grew before turning to the existing herbals and floras for help in formulating descriptive names.
2 (hereafter Journals). Ibid. , p. 1. , pp. 7 and 99. On women’s part in the growth of botanical thought, see especially Ann B. Shtier, Cultivating Women, Cultivating Science; Flora’s Daughters and Botany in England 1760–1860 (1996); also Jennifer Bennett, Lilies of the Hearth: the Historical Relationship between Women and Plants (1991). Primroses at Dove Cottage and Down House 23 accompanied their husbands to the Cape or to India became pioneer plant hunters. The authors of the ‘books of botany’ that appeared in England in the last thirty years of the century (they included an expanded translation by the Cambridge Professor of Botany of Rousseau’s charming Lettres sur la Botanique) thus wrote in the awareness that many, perhaps a majority, of their readers would be women.
The Poet as Botanist by M. M. Mahood