Yes, flower bells rang right merry that day,
When there was a marriage of flowers, they say
In honor of the royal wedding, I’m featuring a charming Art Nouveau picture book, Walter Crane’s A Flower Wedding. Described by Two Wallflowers. Originally published in 1905 by Cassell & Company in London, the book has recently been republished in a facsimile edition to mark the Victoria & Albert Museum‘s current exhibition The Cult of Beauty: the Aesthetic Movement, 1860-1880 (and perhaps another big occasion?) I snatched up a first edition years ago, long before I knew what I had.
Walter Crane (1845-1915) was a well-know children’s book illustrator as well as an Arts & Crafts designer of wallpaper, textiles and other decorative arts. I suppose that A Flower Wedding is a children’s book, but it is quite a sophisticated one. There’s a simple plot line narrating the wedding of “Lad’s Love” (another name for Sweet William) and “Miss Meadowsweet” in which all the participants and guests are flowers drawn in human form . Here are the bride’s attendants and mother, along with a very prominent guest, “Good King Henry” (one of my favorite herbs).
And before all of London, they were wed.