Jun. 25th, 2016

lblanchard: (swannfountain)
Mimpish Monday has come early this week on account of I hit save instead of just letting LJ autosave my draft until tomorrow)

[This is an occasional series of postings inspired by Abigail Rorer, Mimpish Squinnies: Reginald Farrer's Short Guide to Worthless Plants. Rorer's book includes prints of fourteen plants Farrer considered worthless-- an interesting hybrid of botanically accurate and...different. You can see her work, including all fourteen mimpish squinnies, here: http://www.theloneoakpress.com/prints/newer.html ]

Had he lived, Reginald Farrer would no doubt have written a travel book or books as engaging as On the Eaves of the World and The Rainbow Bridge about his two-year expedition to Burma. But he did not live, dying on October 17, 1920 at the age of 40 after a short illness. However, he did leave behind a series of dispatches to The Gardeners' Chronicle, which were published from June 1919 to some time after his death. The publication received a large packet of dispatches that Farrer prepared for mailing before his death, and which they doled out through 1921 and 1922.

Farrer was accompanied, for the first year, but the young E. H. M. Cox, who published an account, Farrer's Last Journey, in 1926. Much of it was cobbled together from these dispatches as well as from letters Farrer sent back to Cox and other correspondents. Cox, alas, is not the storyteller Farrer was.

The Gardeners' Chronicle isn't the easiest thing to read in pdf (if you don't believe me, check the first page here). And the OCR is a hopeless muddle, so I am transcribing them as time permits. Here's the first -- more botany and less drama in these, but they're still glorious.

click here for the first dispatch )

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