The Domestic Herbal: Plants for the Home in the Seventeenth Century

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The Domestic Herbal: Plants for the Home in the Seventeenth Century

Margaret Willes

In the seventeenth century, even the most elaborate and fashionable gardens had areas set aside for growing herbs, fruit, vegetables and flowers for domestic use, while those of more modest homes were vital to the survival of the household. Using manuscript household manuals, recipe books and printed herbals, this book takes the reader on a tour of the productive garden and of the various parts of the house - kitchens and service rooms, living rooms and bedrooms - to show how these plants were used for cooking and brewing, medicines and cosmetics, in the making and care of clothes, and finally to keep rooms fresh, fragrant and decorated.

Recipes used by seventeenth-century households are included, and a brief herbal gives descriptions of plants that are familiar today, others not so well known, and those that held a particular cultural importance in the seventeenth century. Featuring coloured illustrations from John Gerard's Herbal of 1597 as well as prints, archival material and manuscripts, this book provides an intriguing and original focus on the domestic history of Stuart England.

Published by Bodleian Library


ISBN 9781851245130


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