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The Lotus Quest: In Search of the Sacred Flower
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The Lotus Quest: In Search of the Sacred Flower

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  33 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
A captivating history of one of the world's most iconic and mysterious flowers

Bewitched by a lotus which flowered from three-thousandyear- old seeds in his English garden, Mark Griffiths set out to track the origins and significance of this sublime plant in this beautifully-illustrated book. The Lotus Quest takes Griffiths from the headquarters of the Linnaean Socie
ebook, 352 pages
Published July 6th 2010 by St. Martin's Press (first published 2009)
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Talbot Hook
Jul 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There was some very beautiful imagery within this book. The author clearly has a deep appreciation and understanding of aesthetics- specifically those of Japan, which, of the cultures of the world, is the country most associated with attention to beauty and its development.

Praise stated, the historical accounts within this book were bland, and I felt as though the last few chapters were very disjointed from the focus of the author. They related only tangentially to the topic of the sacred lotus,
Oct 26, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: signed, 2010
This book started off very well, with an interesting and engaging survey of the lotus and its place in human culture and history.

As warned in the introduction, the book soon starts to specialise in the place of the lotus in Japanese history. I am a fan of writing about Japanese history and cultural, and writing about botanical subjects, so you would think I would have been a great fan of this section of the book. However, I found my interest flagging as the author became bogged down in the retel
The books starts off very well, but it failed to keep me from somewhere around the middle. It is usually believed that "a picture is worth a thousand words", but the author seems to not think so. There are lengthy descriptions of lotuses in paintings, monuments etc when a simple figure would suffice (or at least be a good supplement to the text). I felt that the ratio of the knowledge I gained, to the amount I read was very low.

I would have appreciated if the author included at least a few maps
Julie Thomason
Sep 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a gem of a book. I have been fascinated by Japanese spirituality ever since I found out about the tea ceremony and the significance of the stages, many years ago. I picked this up a while back and felt it was the time to read it. A slow dense read, crammed with unexpected information. I hadn’t known about the connection to Ancient Egypt nor Alexander the Great with the lotus.. As a linguist, I enjoyed observations on translating poetry and how Japanese itself developed as a language. A ...more
I didn't finish (renewals ran out at the library) but did benefit from this well-written-albeit-a-bit-too-dense-with-detail-for-me tome. The author's careful observations of the lotus or even aspects of the lotus that appear in art from around the world are revelations, and I loved his stories of visiting Linnaeus's original collection housed in a vault under Burlington House in London (who knew?) and of sprouting 3,000 year old lotus seeds in the blinking of an eye!
Maggie Sorgen
This story was brilliantly written, though a bit "text-bookish" so slow to read for me. Following Mark Griffiths journey through present-day Japan interwoven with her ancient history was fascinating. And the lotus! Sprouting 1000 year old seeds speaks volumes of the power and magic of this life-giving plant.
Nov 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting book but does go off the point a bit telling the story of japan's history. But well written and an enjoyable read.
Sep 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant! Wish he would do one on bamboo.
Apr 06, 2011 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Well, shoot, nearest copy according to WorldCat is 236 mi. away, at Princeton U.
Absolutely wonderful - beautifully, poetically written and full of incredibly interesting and well-told stories.
Nov 14, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written account of the author's investigation into the fascinating (and really long!!) history of the lotus. Seeds can lie dormant and then still germinate and flower after 2000+ years! Amazing!
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