With the launch of my most recent novel, Without the Veil Between, Anne Brontë: A Fine and Subtle Spirit, this blog has gained some new followers. I thank you for choosing to connect with me and my muse, and I offer a heartfelt welcome.
Perhaps you don’t know of my other publications – two novels set in 17th century Genoa and England, and three kindle short stories set in the late 19th century, and 1920s and 1930s Chicago. You can find all on my amazon author page and on my Goodreads profile. And, of course, this blog has more information on them, as does my website: dmdenton-author-artist.com.
Because it’s officially summer, the time when one of the most precious, playful, graceful, healing, and resilient gifts this earth gives us is in abundance, this post highlights the illustrated journal I published in 2014 that was originally created by hand while I was living in Oxfordshire, England in the 1980s.
If stars dropped out of heaven,
And if flowers took their place,
The sky would still look very fair,
And fair earth’s face.
Winged angels might fly down to us
To pluck the stars …
~ Christina Rossetti
(subject of my next novel in progress)
I thought of doing this post when I fell in love all over again with one of my favorite flowers, currently in full fairy-ish bloom in my garden.
The name “foxglove” was first recorded in the year 1542 by Leonhard Fuchs, whose family name, Fuchs, is a Germanic word meaning “fox” (the plant genus Fuchsia is also named for him). The genus digitalis is from the Latin digitus (finger), perhaps referencing the shape of the flowers, which accommodate a finger when fully formed.
Thus the name is recorded in Old English as foxes glofe/glofa or fox’s glove. Over time, folk myths obscured the literal origins of the name, insinuating that foxes wore the flowers on their paws to silence their movements as they stealthily hunted their prey. The woody hillsides where the foxes made their dens were often covered with the toxic flowers. Some of the more menacing names, such as “witch’s glove,” reference the toxicity of the plant.
Henry Fox Talbot (1847) proposed folks’ glove, where folk means fairy. Similarly, R. C. A. Prior (1863) suggested an etymology of foxes-glew, meaning ‘fairy music’. However, neither of these suggestions account for the Old English form foxes glofa.
The foxglove is featured in A Friendship with Flowers, each page dedicated—illustrated with poetry—to a specific flower following a sequence from the beginning to the end of the year.
A Friendship with Flowers is available in print and for kindle devices and app.
It would make a lovely gift for a gardener or wild flower lover, including yourself.
This gorgeous book contains the author’s own exquisite illustrations of a variety of flowers from hedgerow and garden, all accompanied by mellow poetic verses in her own inimitable style.
~ Deborah Bennison, Bennison Books
Hope your summer has gotten off to a happy and blessed start!
©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.