Death in the Garden

Poisonous Plants and Their Use Throughout History

Michael Brown

Date Published :
June 2018
Publisher :
White Owl
Illustration :
60 illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Paperback
ISBN : 9781526708380
Pages : 248
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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Mankind has always had a morbid fascination with poisonous plants; how their poisonous properties were discovered and developed will most likely be left unknown. Over the centuries poisonous plants have been used to remove garden pests, unwanted rivals and deceitful partners. They have also been used for their medicinal qualities, as rather dangerous cosmetics, even to help seduce a lover when perceived as an aphrodisiac. Some of these and other uses originate in a medieval book that has not yet been translated into English.

Shamans and priests used these plants for their magical attributes, as a means to foretell the future or to commune with the gods.

Discover how a pot of Basil helped to conceal a savage murder.

Learn the truth about the mysterious mandrake, a real plant although many do not realise it.

Jane Austen wrote a conundrum to entertain her family; the answer is one of the plants in the book. Will you be able to solve the mystery?

Death In The Garden is based on Michael Brown’s most popular talk, popular as this subject holds a strange interest, for many will enjoy learning about these treacherous and peculiar plants, their defensive and deadly traits, as well as the folklore that has grown around them. This title will appeal to gardeners, horticulturists, nature enthusiasts and anyone who holds an interest in this strange and enchanting corner of the garden. But be warned, many of these deathly plants may already be taking root in your very own garden…

About The Author

Michael Brown is Professor of Scottish history at the University of St Andrews. His main research interests centre on the political society of Scotland c.1250 - c.1500 and on the relationships between the various communities of the British Isles during the same period. He has published studies of the practice and ideology of royal and aristocratic lordship in Scotland.


"Still, for those fascinated by murderous gardens, including those who wish to grow their own, Brown's tales of these beautiful and deadly plants will delight."

- Booklist

“Readers who enjoy plants and offbeat tales will find Brown’s book a happy mix”

- Publishers Weekly

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