The Lotus Quest: In Search of the Sacred Flower

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St. Martin's Press, Jul 6, 2010 - Nature - 352 pages
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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.


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THE LOTUS QUEST: In Search of the Sacred Flower

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

After dipping into lotus history, a celebrated horticulturist soon finds himself fully in the thrall of an obsession.Griffiths, editor of The New Royal Horticultural Society Dictionary of Gardening ... Read full review


In the Strong Room
A Celestial Plant
The Sacred Lotus
Metamorphoses Transformed
Egyptian Mysteries
What Beans Means
The Tree of Life
The Birth of Lakshmi
Through Looking Glass and Keyhole
A Thousand Petals a Million Prayers
Sacred and Profane
Secret Lake
Lotus Love
The Mansion of a Thousand Autumns

Western Dreamers
St Marys Beehives
Honourable Foreigners
The Buddha among the Brahmins
Seeds of Eternity
Doctor Lotus
Tales of Genji
The Hall of the Lotus King
The Wars of the Lotuses
List of Illustrations

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About the author (2010)

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.

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