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The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn by Margaret Willes, and: Samuel Pepys and His Books: Reading, Newsgathering, and Sociability, 1660-1703 by Kate Loveman (review)

The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn by Margaret Willes, and: Samuel Pepys and His... Book Reviews 109 In fact, one of the strongest through-threads of this volume is Test’s careful analysis of The Faerie Queen and the seemingly ubiquitous presence of New World plants in this iconic Old World poem. The poem incorporates tobacco, guaiac, and amaranth, each of these plants serving crucial functions in the poem: for example, Test explains that “[t] hrough tobacco, Spenser’s poetic divinity-making found a voice by reinvigorating (and reinventing) classical myth with newfound people, plants, and beliefs from across the Atlantic” (72). He also highlights how both Cupid’s bow and Britomart’s spear evoke myths and plants from the New World, as these indigenous plants have the capacity to “wipe out” England’s vices (142). The volume is also filled with topical information drawn from our present age—such as the fact that Starbucks once used dye extracted from the cochineal beetle to color their frappachinos—that highlights the enduring presence of indigenous plants and animals even in our ostensibly hyper-modern culture (47). As Test remarks in conclusion, “[i]n a time of ever increasing extinction of biota, these well-traveled and multicultural plants prove resilient” (188). Overall, Sacred Seeds is engaging, richly informative, and a joy to read. Anna K. Sagal Cornell http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Restoration: Studies in English Literary Culture, 1660-1700 University of Tennessee

The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn by Margaret Willes, and: Samuel Pepys and His Books: Reading, Newsgathering, and Sociability, 1660-1703 by Kate Loveman (review)

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Publisher
University of Tennessee
Copyright
Copyright © University of Maryland
ISSN
1941-952X

Abstract

Book Reviews 109 In fact, one of the strongest through-threads of this volume is Test’s careful analysis of The Faerie Queen and the seemingly ubiquitous presence of New World plants in this iconic Old World poem. The poem incorporates tobacco, guaiac, and amaranth, each of these plants serving crucial functions in the poem: for example, Test explains that “[t] hrough tobacco, Spenser’s poetic divinity-making found a voice by reinvigorating (and reinventing) classical myth with newfound people, plants, and beliefs from across the Atlantic” (72). He also highlights how both Cupid’s bow and Britomart’s spear evoke myths and plants from the New World, as these indigenous plants have the capacity to “wipe out” England’s vices (142). The volume is also filled with topical information drawn from our present age—such as the fact that Starbucks once used dye extracted from the cochineal beetle to color their frappachinos—that highlights the enduring presence of indigenous plants and animals even in our ostensibly hyper-modern culture (47). As Test remarks in conclusion, “[i]n a time of ever increasing extinction of biota, these well-traveled and multicultural plants prove resilient” (188). Overall, Sacred Seeds is engaging, richly informative, and a joy to read. Anna K. Sagal Cornell

Journal

Restoration: Studies in English Literary Culture, 1660-1700University of Tennessee

Published: Jul 19, 2019

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