13 January, 2016

Chasing the rose by Andrea Di Robilant

I want a garden full of old roses after reading this factual slow-paced botanical mystery.

The author’s four-times great-grandmother learnt about roses at the behest of Napoleon’s Josephine. A chance comment in his biography of his ancestress, Lucia, led Andrea on a hunt to solve the origins of the beautifully perfumed rose, that still grows in the grounds of his family's former estate.

Aided by a coterie of rose lovers and protectors, Andrea explores family history, local history, and rose history – all on the hunt to see whether the ‘Rosa Moceniga’ is a long-lost China rose. 

Snippets of history and relationships – long-gone and ongoing – embellish the story. The author’s coloured drawings add interest. 

But I really want a scratch-and-sniff version. And a visit to Eleonora Garlant's garden. 

A treat for lovers of history, Italy, roses, gardening…

Title: Chasing the Rose: a garden adventure in the Venetian countryside. 
Author: Andrea di Robilant.  

Recommended by Annie C, Helensville Library. 
Annie C is a voracious and versatile reader, but her habitual reads are fantasy, romance, and a diverse selection of non-fiction subjects. 

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