I really enjoyed this book. Coincidentally, one of the bits of rose trivia I learned was the origin of the name hybrid tea—one of the ancestors of hybrid teas was an old rose from China that was said to be tea scented. The book was well written, but was kind of a cross between a documentary, and a rose catalogue. I reviewed this book for the Amazon Vine Program. I loved the old people who tended their gardens in the Italian countryside and shared information with the author.
The information about roses themselves, while interesting, weren't enough to carry a book. It isn't my usual reading fare, but I needed a break and this did the trick. Electronic versions of the books were found automatically and may be incorrect wrong. We get their stories, and hear a lot about their gardens. You are being led gently by a knowledgeable and discreet guide who wears his learning lightly and manages to make this search for a flower into much more: the pursuit of beauty in life, a slice of history, the exploration of a subculture and of self-discovery.
However, it also has a deep sense of time and history with the added mystery of trying to trace the lineage of a special rose found on what used to be his family's property. I read an advanced review copy of this book so the illustrations, while beautiful, are black and white, but in the book for sale the watercolor sketches will be in full color and that should be breathtaking. Like all the sexiest love affairs, theirs is strictly forbidden. When di Robilant visits what remains of Alvise Mocenigo's estate at Alvisopoli, a self-appointed caretaker, Benito Dalla Via, insists on taking the author to the far reaches of the land, a scrub area, where there are many spreading rose bushes covered in silvery pink flowers with an exceptionally strong fragrance of peaches and raspberries. It made me want to visit the rose gardens of Italy.
This is narrative history at its very best. These were installed in the Malmaison gardens. The author writes about the many wonderful people he met searching for information about the rose. This book, however, in an effort to make me connect with characters, usually relied on descriptions of scenes so cheesy I squirmed in my seat with embarrassment. The letters reveal all the excitement of a clandestine relationship. It's the best kind of history: scrupulously honest, with attention to detail, and never exaggerated.
Is my rose vocabulary now much expanded? Ognuno è rosomane a modo suo. On the hunt for the identity of his anonymous yet quietly distinctive rose, Di Robilant finds himself captivated by roseophiles through time——from Lucia and her friend Josephine Bonaparte to the gifted Eleonora, whose garden of nearly fifteen hundred varieties of old roses is one of the most significant in Europe——and by the roses themselves, each of which has a tale to tell. Conosco bene le follie alla ricerca di vivai o riviste specializzate che ti possono fornire proprio quella rosa lì, che avevi e un inverno freddissimo e infingardo ti ha gelato, la ricerca del posto giusto dove metterla a dimora, la scelta del Le follie che si fanno per i propri fiori piante non mi sono sconosciute, essendo cresciuta accanto a una mamma col pollice verde e tutto quel che ne consegue: che le piante non le bastano mai né tanto meno i fiori, le cui varietà sono pressoché infinite. In time she became a knowledgeable plantswoman and even learned the art of grafting. On the hunt for the identity of his anonymous yet quietly distinctive rose, Di Robilant finds himself captivated by roseophiles through time--from Lucia and her friend Josephine Bonaparte to the gifted Eleonora, whose garden of nearly fifteen hundred varieties of old roses is one of the most significant in Europe--and by the roses themselves, each of which has a tale to tell. The biggest problem with this book, in the end, is that it's forgettable.
Andrea di Robilant's wrote a delightful story that takes us back to the time of Josephine Bonaparte, as well as in This is a true story about a man the author search for information about a rose that grows in his ancestor's Venetian garden. Allow me to start with the physical book. It tried to be history, it tried to be Under the Tuscan Sun, it tried to be a rose guide, it tried to tell the stories of some people who admittedly do have interesting lives, but in the end, it failed to pull off any successfully. The cover was decorated with flowers, and the pages contained beautiful drawings whose colors expanded upon the beautiful language on the pages next to it. Di Robilant is a wonderfully graceful writer. Finding the connections ,long a mystery,to his love of a certain rose brings us through a delicious and languid stroll not only through gardens, but also homes and people and royalty. .
A search for the genealogy of this Rose Moceniga becomes a fascinating journey. I won this through Goodreads. I have the opposite of a green thumb and I care nothing about changing that so I didn't think this book would interest me. In Chasing the Rose, di Robilant chronicles his attempts to uncover the identity of a pink rose, lightly scented of peaches and raspberries, found on a former family estate. After the fall of Napoleon, Lucia returned to Alvisopoli with a large plant collection.
This passing detail led to an invitation for an audience with a local rose doyenne, Eleonora Garlant. Eleonora, always aided and abetted by her long-suffering husband, Valentino, is an old rose expert with an encyclopedic knowledge base and a phenomenal collection of old roses and naturally-occurring old rose hybrids. I usually love non-fiction that rambles on about houses and their communities and gardens and planting. This time is necessary for searching and sorting links. What starts out as a lighthearted quest becomes a meaningful journey as di Robilant contemplates the enduring beauty of what is passed down to us in a rose, through both the generosity of nature and the cultivating hand of human beings, who for centuries have embraced and extended the life of this mysterious flower. In what for a good quarter of the book felt like an effort to merely keep writing that biography, he delves into the business of roses. He discovered that his great-great-great-great grandmother had been friends with the Empress Josephine and in all likelihood brought the rose to Italy from France.
From the author of the best-selling A Venetian Affair, here is the charming chronicle of his search for the identity of a mysterious old rose. But then the caretaker showed him a magnificent silvery-pink rose. This book very satisfyingly brings his historical recountings into the present-day. Andrea di Robilant's tale takes us back to the time of Josephine Bonaparte, as well as into some of the most delightful rose gardens in Italy today, brought to colorful life on the page in the watercolors of artist Nina Fuga. Maybe this just wasn't my kind of book. That is, we are doing the same thing as Google, only within the framework of one subject. General Disclaimer Our site does not contain any electronic versions of books.
The plot--part mystery, part quest--seeks to uncover its identity. Martin was eventually repatriated and was now back on the job, helping out Lucia. Note: I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. I had no idea that the great horticultural roses originated in southwest China. His grandmother got her interest in roses from Josephine Bonaparte, a dear friend, and the book is rich with fascinating rose related history stories about Josephine and other rose aficionados from 18th and 19th century Europe, a time when collectors roamed the world looking for the loveliest flowers.