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on 10 May 2010
This was a facinating insight into a woman I thought I knew but obviously not. Carefully crafted and delicate handling of her private life.
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on 8 July 2011
Well-researched, this biography starts at the beginning and continues at the same pace to the end - but I doubt it will awaken any new interest in Constance Spry. Despite the title, she was a very private person and there simply isn't the material for any surprising revelations.
It's at its strongest covering her early years, her relationship with her auto-didact father, her social-climbing mother and Constance's early working days, travelling Ireland in a caravan lecturing the peasantry on how to combat TB. She was middle-aged before she began her flower career.
She was certainly a formidable woman, admirably independent long before girls had careers. But this is probably a book for the middleaged/elderly flower arranger who remembers Mrs Spry as a household name. Unfortunately, there isn't a single colour illustration ... of course, she worked in a monochrome era but surely there's something out there?
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on 20 January 2014
This biography surprised, charmed and inspired it. I was surprised that a woman I associated with middle class cooking and mannered floral arrangements escaped an abusive marriage to make a life for herself in London in the First World War, never actually married the man whose name she took, had a torrid affair with a lady painter, reinvented her career several times, and dound time to invent Coronation Chicken. I was charmed at the easy style of a book that stimulated my interest in topics I am not naturally drawn to such as flower arranging and interior decoration and a woman I had little in common with. And I was inspired by the story of someone whose creative urges were unfulfilled through everything she tried - music, drawing, and painting - until in middle age she discovered a means of self-expression that inspired her to create, teach, write and enthuse. Constance Spry does not come out of the book as a wholly sympathetic character with traits of impatience, zeal to move on , some snobbery and a lot of impatience, but her sense of humour and the colourfulness with which milieu in which she moved from thirties minimalism, upper class opulence, wartime deprivation and post-War authority make this one of my best reads of 2013.
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on 3 November 2013
This was a great read, interesting, especially to someone like me who likes flower arranging as well as biographies. This is the life story of an amazing woman - and quite an unconventional one which is not the picture one normally has. It was an easy read and inspired me in terms of flower arranging ideas too. There is some "name dropping" which could be off putting but then CS did mix in the most amazing circles.
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on 9 March 2016
I really enjoyed this , was a bit disapointed with the kindle version as I initially didnt see any photographs of the arrangements etc, it is only when I finished the book that you could see the pictures , probably my error , but it would be nice to see the relevant picture and the appropriate point in the book , The writing is good and I learnt a lot about the lady and her life , and her continuing influence on design .
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on 13 January 2014
so very very interesting i love flowers food and history i got it all and more i have since bought the hard copy to give as a gift and have recomended it to lots of friends the chapter on the coranation is superb 'who knew ' not me loved loved it
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on 8 February 2014
A good read recounting the life of the flower arranger and Cordon Bleu cookery school guru. From a troubled first marriage to a lesbian affair, it is indeed 'surprising'!
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on 12 November 2013
Fascinating insight into a very crative and unusual woman who one thinks of only in flowers.What a surprise,have passed on my copy and also recommended to many others
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on 13 July 2010
From a simple background, Constance Spry through charm and hard work went on to achieve so much.

I found this a well written and researched book - fascinating.
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on 25 May 2014
Who would have thought we owed so much to Constance spry - an amazing woman and her story is
Absolutely dascinating
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