Floriography: An Illustrated Guide to the Victorian Language of Flowers
Chrysanthemums are for condolences, rue is for regret, and rosemary is for remembrance.
The Victorian language of ﬂowers—also called ﬂoriography—emerged as a clandestine method of communication at a time when proper etiquette discouraged open and ﬂagrant displays of emotion. First emerging in 1819 with Charlotte de la Tour’s Le langage des ﬂeurs, this coded “language” was used widely throughout the nineteenth century in both England and America and today is synonymous with Victorian tradition and culture. Flower meanings were taken from literature, mythology, religion, medieval legend, and even the shapes of the blooms themselves. Often, ﬂorists would invent symbolism to accompany new additions to their inventory, and occasionally, ﬂowers had different meanings depending on the location and time. Young women of high society in this era embraced the practice, sending bouquets as tokens of love or warning, wearing ﬂowers in their hair or tucked into their gowns, and celebrating all things ﬂoral. Many of them created small arrangements of ﬂowers, called tussie-mussies or nosegays, by combining a few blooms in a small bouquet. Worn or carried as accessories, these coded messages of affection, desire, or sorrow allowed Victorians to show their true feelings in an enigmatic and alluring display.
As the era came to an end and the First World War began, the language of ﬂowers faded in popularity. Traces of the tradition remain, however. We still use roses to convey love at weddings and on Valentine’s Day, lilies for peace, and mums for condolences. The elegance and beauty of ﬂowers have not dwindled—only our knowledge of their coded meanings. I hope this book, apart from offering a view into the history of ﬂoriography, will encourage readers to look at ﬂowers and herbs in a new way, perhaps assigning their own meanings to the blooms that inspire them most.
|Download Ebook||Read Now||File Type||Upload Date|
|October 3, 2022|