READ THE WORLD – Monaco: My Book of Flowers by Princess Grace of Monaco with Gwen Robyns

The former actress shares her sense of floral aesthetics, discloses the secrets of flower pressing, examines the portrayal of flowers throughout history in the arts, and discusses the use of flowers as beauty aids and home remedies

This was the last country/book for my Read the World Project! I did feel like I was cheating a bit as this is the only book where the author isn’t of the nationality of the country the book is supposed to represent, but Monaco is just such a small country that it was impossible to find any works by native writers available in English. However, as I read My Book of Flowers I started to think that it did count, especially at the beginning where the Princess talks about Monaco’s history in relation to flowers and the local flora. Like The State in the Third Millennium, My Book of Flowers made me interesting in visiting a place I’d never really considered before which was interesting.

I’m not really a flower person. While it is always nice to see pretty flowers, I never really have any at home in a vase (I’m not sure if I even own a vase) and I struggle to keep plants alive. That being said I did find My Book of Flowers interesting and I learnt a lot from it. The Princess’s passion for flowers shines through and I think learning about something the author is clearly passionate about always makes the topic more interesting and thought-provoking. I especially liked the chapter on the legends related to different flowers. I never thought there was such a thing but considering there are myths and legends about pretty much anything in any culture it makes sense that there would be ones surrounding flowers. They’re legends about how the flower got its name, why it looks how it does, for some flowers there’s just the one story but for others there’s multiple stories as different countries have different legends for the same flower.

My Book of Flowers contains so many photographs and illustrations, there’s at least one image on each page. There are photos the Princess’s flowering pressings, the Royal gardens and their home, as well as images of paintings and furniture where flowers are heavily featured. It’s a nice book to flick through and read at a chapter or two at time or just look at the photos.

And this is my last review for my Read the World Project! Can’t quite believe it’s over. I am writing a sort of wrap-up post about this experience which should be published next week but after that this is done.

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