The Poppy: A History of Conflict, Loss, Remembrance, and Redemption
In the aftermath of the horrific trench warfare of the First World War, the poppy — sprouting across the killing fields of France and Belgium, then immortalized in John McCrae’s moving poem — became a worldwide icon. Yet the poppy has a longer history: as the tell-tale sign of human cultivation of the land, of the ravages of war, and of the desire to escape the earthly realm through Romantic opium dreams or the grim reality of morphine drips. This is a story spanning 3,000 summers, from the Ancient Egyptian fights over prized medicinal potions to the addicted veterans turning home from the American Civil War, from the British political machinations during the Opium Wars with China to the struggle to end Afghanistan’s tribal narcotics trade. Through it all, there is the transformative poppy.
Now, Nicholas J. Saunders shares the definitive history of this ever-enduring symbolic flower.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Other editions - View all
11 November addiction Afghan Afghanistan alongside American Legion ancient announced Anon appeared Armistice Day army Assyrian Battle battlefields Britain British soldiers Buddy Poppy Canada Canadian capsule cemetery century Chinese Coalition commemoration conflict corn poppy cornflower crop cultivation dead death Despite drug Egyptian emblem farmers Flanders Fields flower France French German graves harvest hectares Helmand heroin honour Ibid insurgents Iraq John McCrae Keedick killed later living London McCrae’s poem medicinal memorial Merlin military Minoan Moina Michael morphine Museum narcotic nation official opiates opium poppy organisation painkiller Papaver peace petals plant Poppy Appeal Poppy Day poppy fields poppy growing poppy wreaths poppy’s production red poppy Remembrance Day Remembrance Poppy Romantic Royal British Legion rugs sacrifice scarlet Second World seeds Senlis Council sleep socalled Somme suffering symbol Taliban thousand trade tradition veterans war rugs wars wearing wheat White Poppy women wounded wrote young Ypres