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Tag Archives: History Hoydens

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;

But they weren’t golden. We’ve been fooled!

The daffodils Wordsworth saw were not the golden daffodils that were developed half a century later but the native species narcissus pseudonarcissus aka the Lent Lily which is a paler color. They’re not particularly popular today because they’re, well, lackluster if you lack poetic vision and don’t last well in a vase.

Daffodils became big business–and golden–in the latter half of the nineteenth century when commercial market gardening took off. The National Trust started a project in 2001 to identify historic varieties of daffodils–you can read about it here.

I find it rather appealing that the director of the project is a former International Daffodil Registrar (“… and what do you do?”). The project is conducted at Cotehele House in Cornwall where it’s estimated there may be as many as 400 unidentified species of daffodils lurking in hedgerows.

Here’s a US source for historic daffodils and an article on their history at Old House –they were introduced into England in the thirteenth century!

And have you noticed that the more you say the word daffodil the sillier it sounds?

Talking of silly names, the village of Tolpuddle in Dorset is where a courageous group of farm laborers living on starvation wages formed a trade union and were transported to serve as an example to their peers. The Tolpuddle Martyrs are still revered as champions of liberty and the trades union movement and today is the anniversary of their sentencing to seven years transportation in 1834. More at my other home away from home online at History Hoydens.

Do you have any favorite silly words or are daffodils blooming yet in your yard?

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The Little Black Dress edition of The Rules of Gentility–out today in the UK and elsewhere!

Here’s the back cover blurb:

Fashion and charitable works are all very well–but what’s a Regency girl got to do to get married around here?

Regency heiress Philomena Wellesley-Clegg is not short of offers. Unfortunately those doing the offering–two lords, a viscount and a mad poet–all fall short of her expectations. But she’s about to meet Mr Inigo Linsley. Unshaven, wickedly handsome and hiding a scandalous secret, he simply isn’t Philomena’s type–so why can’t she stop thinking about how good he looks in his breeches?

Pride and Prejudice meets Sex and The City in this ravishing Regency romp about boys, bonnets and breaking the rules.

Isn’t that cool? And the sort-of sequel, A Most Lamentable Comedy, will be released in March 2009.

Today I’ve joined the History Hoydens–I’m blogging over there about local history, the town of Bladensburg, Maryland. Come and check it out.

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