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Emily Mangles
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Emily Fox-Seton:The Ultimate English Rose
Frances Hodgson Burnett’s Making of a Marchioness (1901) is a charming,
comfortable book. The beef tea of literature, it is old fashioned yet seems
curiously appealing when you are ill, or a little miserable. It starts as a
classic Cinderella story, yet in ...

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'Hyacinths to Feed the Soul'
“If, of thy mortal goods, thou art bereft, And from thy slender store two loaves alone to thee are left, Sell one & from the dole, Buy Hyacinths to feed the soul” – Muslihuddin Sadi, 13th Century Persian Poet Hyacinth was a Spartan Prince of outstanding bea...

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Going to Seed
July marks the start of cutting back. It starts off gently, deadheading roses, which is an activity I particularly enjoy. They look so much tidier and relieved once you’d done it, and there’s always the hope that it might entice them into another, later flo...

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Seeds of Content
July marks the start of cutting back. It starts off gently,
deadheading roses, which is an activity I particularly enjoy. They look so much
tidier and relieved once you’d done it, and there’s always the hope that it
might entice them into another, later flo...

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The Allure of Yellow Roses in The Age of Innocence
I never used to like yellow roses. I found them too bright,
too brash, a little out of place. Newland Archer felt much the same way about
the Countess Olenska on first acquaintance, but Edith Wharton managed to change
both of our minds. How could anyone fai...

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Wild Strawberries and the Good Bad Novel.
Recently, I have made a wonderful discovery, comparable only
to the apple falling on Newton’s head- I came across (more accurately, was introduced
to) the ‘good bad’ novels of Angela Thirkell. Thirkell wrote delightfully staid
novels through the 1930s-50s, ...

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Bluebells and Broken Hearts
Bluebell woods seem to inspire romance, at least they
certainly do in Dodi Smith’s I Capture
The Castle , a coming of age journal in which Cassandra Mortmain records the
eccentric habits of her artistic family in the 1930s. It has long been one of
my favour...

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The Perks of Growing Wallflowers
Wallflowers   ( erysimum )
are wonderful plants. You buy them bare rooted from the market in autumn, 10
for £1. You pop them in the flowerbed and forget about
them,or watch them in avid anticipation, until Spring where they set the
(flower) bed on fire in a...

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