My model for pursuing such a project is Leah Knight's excellent study of Gerard's "herbal poetics," which demonstrates that Gerard developed an "artful botanical poetics as part of his rhetoric of [scientific] description." "Gerard's herbal
," Knight further argues, "is thus more proximate to the poetry of the period than one might expect: in terms of his expressed aesthetic values, his rhetorical strategies, his citation of poetic texts, and perhaps most importantly, his anthological approach to authorship." (19) I too detail Gerard's "citation of poetic texts," but with a perverse twist.
They and their offspring are celebrated in Gerard's Herbal
, published in 1597, and for centuries people have cherished both the wild primrose and its multifarious cultivars.
Publication of Gerard's herbal
eclipsed the gentlemanly exchange of the Lime Street naturalists.
Here, the Bard would have consulted Plutarch's Lives, Holinshed's Chronicles, Montaigne's Essays, Ovid's Metamorphoses, Gerard's Herbal
and a host of other sources.
, a standard text first published in 1597, says, "S.
, a standard text first published in 1597, says, "S.John's wort with his floures and seed boyled and drunken, provoketh urine, and is right good against the stone in the bladder.
Andrews points to Gerard's Herbal
(1597) with its remarks on the speedwell, which is `in Welch ...
It is recorded in one of our oldest gardening books, Gerard's Herbal
, in 1597 and even people disinterested in gardening can recognise it.
To find out what our forebears thought about the use of herbs, treat yourself to a copy of Gerard's Herbal
, first published more than 300 years ago.
published in 1597 tells of a flower which surrounded Coventry like a blue sea - the Coventry Bell.
A fascinating plant, it was recorded in Gerard's Herbal
in the late 16th century.
I have found references from Gerard's Herbal
and Culpeper's Complete Herbal as well as modern reference books to cures for hiccoughs, impotence, vomiting, ear ache, head aches, kidney stones, bad breath, snake bites, leprosy, household smells, diarrhoea, colds, sore throat, dandruff, skin irritations and measles.