|Gerard's Herbal with its specially made cabinet in the New Room at Hill Top|
If you have visited Beatrix’s Hill Top you will have seen the Herbal in a glass case in the New Room at the back of the house. Many people glance at it but pass it by as the room contains some of Beatrix’s larger writing desks and the prominent oil paintings by her brother Bertram which are much quicker to catch your eye; however, I think the Herbal is one of the more wonderful pieces as it predates Beatrix by a significant margin. Containing over 1800 detailed illustrations it really is a delight and also a challenge trying to figure out the old English spellings and type.
|The Prickly Indian Fig Tree - Ficus Indica|
Beatrix refers to the Herbal in her story The Fairy Caravan when Mary Ellen the cat is called upon to administer a herbal remedy to Paddy Pig, who is suffering the after effects of eating toadstool tartlets: “What says old Gerard in the big calfskin book?”
Posted by Katie Tiley, VE Assistant