Death in the Garden (Paperback)
Poisonous Plants and their Use Throughout History
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Mankind has always had a morbid fascination with poisonous plants; how their poisonous properties were discovered and developed will most likely be left unknown. Over the centuries poisonous plants have been used to remove garden pests, unwanted rivals and deceitful partners. They have also been used for their medicinal qualities, as rather dangerous cosmetics, even to help seduce a lover when perceived as an aphrodisiac. Some of these and other uses originate in a medieval book that has not yet been translated into English.
Shamans and priests used these plants for their magical attributes, as a means to foretell the future or to commune with the gods.
Discover how a pot of Basil helped to conceal a savage murder.
Learn the truth about the mysterious mandrake, a real plant although many do not realise it.
Jane Austen wrote a conundrum to entertain her family; the answer is one of the plants in the book. Will you be able to solve the mystery?
Death In The Garden is based on Michael Brown’s most popular talk, popular as this subject holds a strange interest, for many will enjoy learning about these treacherous and peculiar plants, their defensive and deadly traits, as well as the folklore that has grown around them. This title will appeal to gardeners, horticulturalists, nature enthusiasts and anyone who holds an interest in this strange and enchanting corner of the garden. But be warned, many of these deathly plants may already be taking root in your very own garden…
As featured inFolklore Reviews
Article: 'Historic Gardener visit' as featured byJersey Evening Post, 27th May 2019
Brown provides a comprehensive list of poisonous plants likely found in our gardens, accompanied with gorgeous photos and a fascinating history of the plant, and its uses (and abuses). An absolute necessity for the home gardener, I know I’ve decided to plant my very own poison garden this summer.Cayocosta 72, Rose Smith
Read the full review here
As featured on Lil's Vintage WorldLil's Vintage World
His book is a mixture of fact and fiction – all revolving around plants and poisons. Highly entertaining as well as informative. But you might not be able to sleep at night after reading it.Bramble Garden
Read the full review here
I get offered books to review fairly regularly and I make a point of only agreeing to books that cover something I want to know more about, or just sound plain fascinating. Death in the Garden by Michael Brown fell into both categories.The Blackberry Garden blog
I loved this book, it made me think, it made me laugh and it educated me at the same time. This is a great gift for the gardener in your life who wants to read something different for a change.
For the full review, click here
Extract from book as featured byAmateur Gardening, 22nd December 2018
This book is much more than a list of poisonous plants and their uses throughout history. It is full of fascinating facts, including a description of each plant, its origins, how to grow it, and its uses – both medicinal and toxic – over the years...Amateur Gardening, 28th July 2018
... This is a captivating book – and much more interesting than its title suggests.
Calling all bookworms: This week's recommended read from the RHS Libraries is Death in the Garden by Michael BrownRHS Libraries
Throughout the centuries there are some plants that have been used to removed garden pests, unwanted rivals and even deceitful partners. Michael Brown's new book, Death in the Garden, was a really readable account of the history of many poisonous plants and the stories around them.
He writes in a really clear and concise but engaging way, taking the reader through the effects that the plants will have on human and animals. While this was fascinating, I found the historical sections even more so. He describes how the plants have been used throughout history and there is a lot of detail on the legends and stories associated with each plant he covers. It's beautifully illustrated throughout with gorgeous pictures of the plants in question and, if you have any interest in the history of this fascinating topic, this is the book for you."
Poisonous plants have their uses, and this book has its delights.Fortean Times, September 2018 – reviewed by Matt Coward
Brown is undoubtedly an expert on his subject, and this is a highly entertaining book that will appeal to a range of readers. Whether you're a keen gardener, an author of mysteries looking for your next murder weapon or simply intrigued by this fascinating subject, there is much to enjoy in this glossy and informative book.All About History, July 2018
A work of reference for the crime writer, a cautionary guide for the concerned parent and an inspiration for anyone with the slightly macabre horticultural ambition of creating a poison garden, this is a book that will provide hours of deliciously spine-chilling browsing.Jane Austen's Regency World
***** This is such an awesome little bookAmazon Review
This is such an awesome little book and has a very well deserved place in my home library. The information about harmful plants is clear and concise and there is lovely historic detail about the use of plants in the past. Each page has a good identifying coloured picture of the plant in question and there is a small table listing genus, species, other names and its active constituents which is good for pharmacology. My son who is a horticultural student has also been impressed with its easy to use format.
For gardening and history enthusiasts this book is a must have. I highly recommend it.
***** An excellent readAmazon Review
A beautiful, glossy, book. The history of poisons was fascinating and although there is a relatively limited number of plants listed the depth of the research gives new invites into the uses of plants through history. Also demonstrates some “safe” plants, in the wrong doses, can have adverse effects.
***** InterestingAmazon Review
This is really interesting book, as a child we were always told not to touch this plant or that, it is good to know that there was some basis to the instruction. There is a full description of the plant including colour picture, and this is extremely helpful, living in Australia some of the plants have different common names.
There are quite a lot of historical details in amongst the plant information which I found quite interesting. The beginning of the book proved a little slower and harder to get into being pure facts.
I did enjoy the book, and now I did not think it was going to be a murder mystery, although I can see the link and why poisons where used in Golden Age writings.
If you have an interest in gardening, this is a wonderful book to read.NetGalley, reviewed by Dawn Tarrant
This book gives so much background information and folklore, it should be part of every gardener's bookshelf.NetGalley, reviewed by Polly Krize
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, reviewed by Leyla Johnson
This is a really interesting book, as a child we were always told not to touch this plant or that, it is good to know that there was some basis to the instruction.