In seventeenth-century Britain, a new breed of 'curious' gardeners were pushing at the frontiers of knowledge and new plants were stealing into Europe from East and West. The man responsible for introducing many of the plants to Britain at that time was John Tradescant, whose passion for collecting sent him as far as Russian Archangel, the pirate strongholds of North Africa and the battlefields of France. Tradescant's only son John was his apprentice. Strange Blooms tells the Tradescants' story - as gardeners, as collectors and above all as exemplars of an age that began in wonder and ended with the dawning of science. Meticulously researched and vividly evoking the drama of their lives, Jennifer Potter's book takes its readers to the edge of an expanding universe. Strange Blooms is a magnificent pleasure for gardeners and non-gardeners alike.
Jennifer Potter is the author of four novels and five works of non-fiction, most recently Strange Blooms: The Curious Lives and Adventures of the John Tradescants; The Rose: A True History; and Seven Flowers and How They Shaped Our World, all three published by Atlantic Books. A regular reviewer for the Times Literary Supplement, she is currently a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at King's College London.