Posted by Caroline on March 03, 1998 at 15:33:14:
In response to Flowers, written by Steff on March 02, 1998 at 19:59:47
] I noticed in P&P2 Lizzy and Jane were picking flowers alot. Then there was a scene where they were hanging dried flowers up. Was there a use for all these flowers? Were they just for decoration or what? Just wondering.
I love plants, especially useful ones, so I take notice of what people do with them in movies!
Firstly, lets get the obvious over with. It gives the actresses something pretty to do whilst saying their lines! Secondly, according to the book "The Making of P&P", they concoted that "Still Room" as a place to film when the weather wasn't co-operating.
However, flowers were used a lot. If you look closely at Lizzie's bouquet in the wedding scene it is made up of bay (or laurel), rosemary, and lavender, all things that grow in an English garden! They did use flowers as pot-pourri also. But more importantly, most of the home-made medecines, cosmetics, soaps, and the like were still made at home. There were commercially -made cures, cosmetics and commercial soap, but they were just beginning.What we would call "herbal medecine" and "aromatherapy"today would have been part of Mrs Bennet's duties as head of the household.
There are several "Herbals" i.e. books of herbal medecine which were in print at this time. The most famous is Nicholas Culpeper's, which was almost continually in print from it's first edition in the 1500's untill about 1850 (I've seen an 1811 and an 1813 edition). Others are by John Gerard and John Tradescant.
If you look in the Archive you will find a post that I wrote called "Long Post about Keeping Clean"which contains a 1775 recipe for "thieves' vinegar", a concoction that seems to be antibacterial, deodorising, relaxing, pleasant smelling-and all from garden plants.I have plenty more if you really want to know about them!
There was a great interest in plants and plant collecting, too. The Royal Botanical Garden, at Kew was inaugurated in, I believe, 1760, with the aim of researching and developing new and useful (i.e.commercially interesting) plants.There was a lot of interest in plant breeding for both useful and ornamental purposes (we are back to the strawberry hybrids of 1806 again!)and quite a world-wide trade in all kinds of plants.
Lastly, Mrs Austen, Jane's mother, was an avid gardener right up until her death. It seems that a little genteel digging wasn't beneath all ladies!
- Wow! Thanks for the info... Steff 18:02:28 3/04/98 (0)
Posting followups to old messages is disabled; instead go to the main index and post a new message which mentions this one.