The Lotus Quest by Mark Griffiths
In Search of the Sacred Flower

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Synopsis

A captivating history of one of the world’s most iconic and mysterious flowers

Bewitched by a lotus which flowered from three-thousandyear- old seeds in his English garden, Mark Griffiths set out to track the origins and significance of this sublime plant in this beautifully-illustrated book. The Lotus Quest takes Griffiths from the headquarters of the Linnaean Society in London to a mountain top in northern Japan. As he travels in search of this ancient flower, Griffiths looks at the lotus’s significance in ancient Egypt and India, the plant’s medicinal uses and the inspiration it has provided to Western artists. As he tracks the plant, its story unveils a stunning vision of Japan’s feudal era with visits to shrines, ruins, gardens and wild landscapes as well as meetings with priests and archaeologists, philosophers and anthropologists, gardeners and botanists, poets and artists. He even dines on the lotus in a Tokyo cafe. By the end of Griffiths’ journey, when he reaches the hauntingly beautiful Japanese temple of Chuson-ji, readers will finally understand why the lotus has obsessed people throughout the ages.


 

About Mark Griffiths

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MARK GRIFFITHS is one of Britain’s leading plant experts. He is editor of The New Royal Horticultural Society Dictionary of Gardening, the largest work on horticulture ever published, and the author or editor of multiple other books. A Fellow of the Linnaean Society, he has written regularly for The Times and now contributes to Country Life. He lives in Oxford, England.
 
Published July 6, 2010 by St. Martin's Press. 380 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Education & Reference, Travel, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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Griffiths, editor of The New Royal Horticultural Society Dictionary of Gardening (1992) and Linnaean Society scholar, begins in the subterranean vault of that society, where he shows a visiting Japanese scholar Carl Linnaeus’ original notes and samples, including a lotus.

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Summary: The epic search for the roots of the sacred Lotus: some heavy hacking through the undergrowth needed in places, but overall an intriguing trawl through middle and far-eastern history, with some side alleys much closer to home.

Apr 12 2010 | Read Full Review of The Lotus Quest: In Search of...

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