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The Old English Herbals Paperback – May 1990


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Paperback, May 1990
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About the Author

ELEANOUR SINCLAIR ROHDE (1881-1950) was a British horticulture writer, gardener, and historian. She collected herbs and vegetables, and worked as an early version of a landscape designer. Her garden designs and books were responsible for increasing the popularity of herb gardens. Her most well-known design was of the herb garden for Lullingstone Castle in Kent. Her works include The Scented Garden, A Garden of Herbs, and The Wartime Vegetable Garden. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Amazon.com: 7 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Kindle version lacking in illustrations 29 Oct. 2011
By writer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The knowledge presented in this book is informative and interesting. The references and quotes from many of the great herbalists, including Gerard, Parkinson, Turner, etc. are extensive. However, the one major drawback is that there are no illustrations from any of the works mentioned. The book itself, I am certain, contains illustrations; but, these have not been scanned for the Kindle version. A pity, as I was looking forward to seeing how these plants had been illustrated by ancient herbalists.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The Old English Herbals 29 Nov. 2012
By Jane Eyre - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was stunned to find this book available. I had wanted to buy it for many years. It's been out of print for a long time and was scarce years ago. The author is one of several contemporary women authors who wrote about herbs and herbalism in a "modern" view of their time (20th cent.) That is, they easily present information that scholars have slaved over ancient languages. In this book much of the references are early Anglo-Saxon, hence the title Old English Herbals.

It's not a big book and definitely not a home cure book, it is more of a very readable history. I think these authors of the times --late 1920s-1930 were genuinely interested in gardening and appreciating the once invaluable healing aspects of these plants. Considering the Great Depression, I suspect many people turned to the old wives' tales to find inexpensive cures for their ills either in their own gardens or woods. To look back and try to understand the merits that the ancients found in order to survive rather than just dismiss it all as ignorant wive's tales was a worthy venture by this author.

Rhodes notes there are often incomprehensible "prescriptions" made by the curers of the day. She suggests some of these fantastic recipes were more for psychological value and quotes the old ironic adage "Well the cure worked, but unfortunately the patient died." Herbal work used to be part of the housewife's work, too. Remember, back in 1155 upwards to 1900s a.d. there were no all-night pharmacies or web medical advisors. I hasten to add do not try out herbal cures unless you understand botany. Many so called scientific names have changed and common names often mean several different plants. Your neighbors do not really know and your grannie's memory may be of some other plants. (Personal experience!) Many garden plants are no longer the same as their ancient plantforms, and may have poisonous insectides. Also, remember conservation means saving sufficient plants for reproducing themselves in the woods. Leave them there. This book is a valuable source of references to learn more about ancient herbalism. I count it with Agnes Arber's book on Herbals for fascinating history. To be able to read this on Kindle is just amazing!
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Robots don't format 12 Aug. 2010
By Alphabet John - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The text looks as if it needs to be formatted. Spaces between words are missing, random characters are included at the beginning of lines, indentations are off. The book is illegible. A notice in small print says that the original rare book has been scanned by a robot. I think that any robot worth his salt would be insulted by this statement.
great find! 17 May 2015
By Tina - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very informative, interesting, amusing, thought provoking.... I was really impressed that I got to download this for free. I really enjoyed learning the ways my ancestors used herbs for healing and in everyday life.
Useful 19 Oct. 2013
By Ruthann F. Sandberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Nice book! Useful information. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the background and uses of herbs.
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