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A Dictionary of Plant-Lore Hardcover – March, 1995

ISBN-13: 978-0198661832 ISBN-10: 0198661835

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 457 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Univ Pr (Txt) (March 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198661835
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198661832
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.6 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,765,743 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"In a logical world, our readiness to believe in the magical and therapeutic qualities of everyday plants would diminish as scientific knowledge grows. Roy Vickery, the curator of flowering plants at the Natural History Museum, shows that this is not so, by producing an extraordinary compendium of traditional beliefs, laying emphasis on those current today, or within living memory." --Country Life

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Roy Vickery has worked at the Natural History Museum in London, where he is Curator of Flowering Plants, since 1965. He has written extensively on the folklore of plants and is an active member of a number of societies, including the Botanical Society of the British Isles, and the Society for Folklife Studies. He was Honorary Secretary of the Folklore Society from 1980 to 1989.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Valerie Fletcher Adolph on July 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
This isn't a new book, but for anyone interested in the history of plant usage it's a very valuable one. Roy Vickery of the Natural History Museum in London has done a vast amount of research to produce this very readable volume.
While most of the book consists of an alphabetical list of plants by their common or folk names, it has two additional, and excellent, features. The first is an introductory section titled "Plant Lore Studies in the British Isles" which establishes a very useful context both for the book itself and for further study of the topic. The writings of most of the earlier English herbalists depended largely on sources from Continental Europe, but from the time Gerard's "Herball" was published in 1597 more and more local uses of plants were incorporated. By the end of the nineteenth century many of the books on local plant uses were merely repeating previously collected information, mistakes and all. More recent work has seen the careful collection and referencing of folklore related to plants.
The second excellent feature is the comprehensive bibliography. It's easily the most comprehensive and wide ranging bibliography I've seen in a readable book for lay people. If you want to do further research there's no better place to start than here.
The alphabetical listing of plants give their common names from diferent areas of the British Isles, along with their uses and common beliefs about the plant. It's interesting to note that some of these are remarkably constant throughout the country, while others vary widely.
The Oxford dictionary of Plant Lore is like a breath of the British countryside and a reminder of simpler times and a closer connection to our natural surroundings. It is without illustrations but it is a thorough and sensitive compilation of beliefs about plants.
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