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These gorgeous long stem roses we know today
do not exist in nature. They are hybrids manipulated by man for millennia, to
enhance their beauty or their fragrance.
species of roses came from Asia along the silk road and were cultivated in
northeast Africa and the near east as far as
five thousand years ago. Ancient Zoroastrian texts mention roses with hundreds
of petals, and the legends say that originally the rose didn’t have thorns. The
thorns only appeared when evil descended to earth.
the Great discovered the rose in Persia, and the Roman emperors soon
followed in his steps and fell in love with it. The Romans brought the white
rose with them all the way to England
where it flourished. In Rome,
they used it lavishly and even to excess. Nero was known to bury his banquet
guests under mounds of rose petals, to the point of suffocation. After the fall
of the Roman Empire, during the dark ages and the barbarian invasions, the rose
that had symbolized the oppressor was shunned in most of Europe
and mostly forgotten. The early middle ages only knew the primrose, the
hawthorn, climbing rose vines, and other wild varieties of the rose family,
native to Europe.
spread over the middle east, the oriental rose supplanted the lotus as the
queen of all flowers. The Turks and the Persians of the time believed that
roses were born from drops of sweat from their holy prophet. Soon, the
passion for roses spread to Arabia. As early
as the tenth century, the Arabs, who perfected the process of distilling
perfumes, traded rose water and rose-perfumed oils as valuable commodities to
their occupied territories in Spain,
and even to China.
twelfth century, the Crusaders returning from Jerusalem
and Constantinople brought the beautiful rose back to Europe,
along with its legends, its fragrance, and its healing powers. Robert de Brie
brought to France
the Damask rose. With new influx from the middle east, rose water became the
rich women’s favorite luxury. So much so that the most ascetic leaders of the
Church felt the need to forbid such decadence, considering it sinful.
prevent medieval women from growing their own rose gardens inside the walls of
their fortresses, where they enjoyed spinning, sewing, and embroidering among
the fragrant flowers. Soon they learned to distill their own rose water and
later made their own perfumes, especially in Provence, where the climate allows the
flowers to grow in abundance.
Eleanor of Provence, who married Henry III of England, was
the first to adopt a white rose as her family emblem. Her son Edward also chose
a rose. The houses of York and Lancaster made their family symbols famous in
the War of the Roses. Later, the Tudors combined the two roses into a double
Rosa in Latin is the verb “to love,” and Rose in French is the
color pink, the color of most wild roses. In late medieval times, the rose
became a cherished symbol in many courtly love stories and legends. My Curse of
the Lost Isle series is inspired by such authentic legends.
1096 AD ‑
To redeem a Pagan curse, Palatina the Fae braves the Christian world to embark
on an expedition to free the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem from the Turks. Pierre de Belfort,
Christian Knight of Lorraine,
swore never to let a woman rule his life, and doesn't believe in love. Thrown
together into the turmoil of the First Crusade, on a sacred journey to a land
of fables, they must learn to trust each other. For in this war, the true enemy
is not human... and discovery could mean burning at the stake.