What beautiful hyacinths! I have just learnt to love a hyacinth. Mrs Allen used to take pains, year after year, to make me like them; but I never could, till I saw them the other day in Milsom Street;” “But now you love a hyacinth. So much the better…And though the love of a hyacinth may be rather domestic, who can tell, the sentiment once raised, but you may in time come to love a rose?… The mere habit of learning to love is the thing; and a teachableness of disposition in a young lady is a great blessing. Northanger Abbey It is thought that Northanger Abbey was begun sometime during 1797-98- the height of the Georgian period. At a time when the novel was being given a new dimesion, florists had also begun modifying and cross breeding familiar species. They imported flowering plants and bulbs from all over the world. Soon even cottage gardens could boast exotic blossoms and thousands of hybrids were being created. Following the tulip craze of the 16th century, horticulturists experimented with other bulb flowers. One that was to become a favorite was the Hyacinth, imported in the mid 1500’s from the Ottoman Empire. By the early 18th c. the orginal, gracefully curving plant, similar to England’s native Bluebell, had been modified into its ‘modern’ form. Hyacinths reached the peak of their popularity during the 1700’s when there were over 2000 cultivators to choose from. Some bulbs were even more expensive than the infamous
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