Marianne North. The Flower Huntress

A fascinating article proposed by the Rare Book Society of India about Marianne North, the flower huntress. Enjoy the reading (originally published on the British Newspaper Telegraph).

“Eschewing marriage – ‘a terrible experiment’ – Marianne North travelled the four corners of the world to paint flowers. Her legacy? Britain’s finest collection of botanical art, which is now being restored. Kathryn Hughes tells her remarkable story .

Miss Marianne North was adamant. She wanted her new art gallery, nestled in a far corner of Kew Gardens, to serve refreshments to weary visitors. But Sir Joseph Hooker, the director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, was having none of it.

Kew was not a pleasure park for day-trippers, but a place of serious study for scholars of the world’s rarest flora. And scholars did not need to stop for tea. Yet, true to form, it was the redoubtable Miss North, by now in her fifties, who had the last word.

When the Marianne North Gallery finally opened in 1882 there were, as Hooker decreed, no refreshments. However, sharp-eyed visitors noticed that above the doors to the elegant building Miss North had wryly painted pictures of the tea and coffee plant.”

Find out more here

A fascinating article proposed by the Rare Book Society of India about Marianne North, the flower huntress. Enjoy the reading (originally published on the British Newspaper Telegraph).

“Eschewing marriage – ‘a terrible experiment’ – Marianne North travelled the four corners of the world to paint flowers. Her legacy? Britain’s finest collection of botanical art, which is now being restored. Kathryn Hughes tells her remarkable story .

Miss Marianne North was adamant. She wanted her new art gallery, nestled in a far corner of Kew Gardens, to serve refreshments to weary visitors. But Sir Joseph Hooker, the director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, was having none of it.

Kew was not a pleasure park for day-trippers, but a place of serious study for scholars of the world’s rarest flora. And scholars did not need to stop for tea. Yet, true to form, it was the redoubtable Miss North, by now in her fifties, who had the last word.

When the Marianne North Gallery finally opened in 1882 there were, as Hooker decreed, no refreshments. However, sharp-eyed visitors noticed that above the doors to the elegant building Miss North had wryly painted pictures of the tea and coffee plant.”

Find out  more here 

About the Image: Marianne North painting in South Africa, circa 1883 Photo: Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew

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About Odile Milton

I travel through words whenever possible. Odile Milton is my signature on the web as I wanted an alter ego to indicate only my writings and works, not my personal life. Odile like the dancer in black swan, and Milton from the novel An old-fashioned girl. View all posts by Odile Milton

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