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This volume meticulously records our enduring love affair with the most beautiful and exotic of plants, the water lily.

It is a comprehensive and detailed account of their introduction into European culture, largely through the passion and devotion of one man, Joseph Bory Latour-Marliac (1830-1911).

His lifelong work in the field of propagation, cultivation and commercialisation of water lilies inspired a generation of horticulturists, artists and poets to create the words and images that are deeply embedded in our culture today.

The work Latour-Marliac did gave rise to development of specialist lily nurseries and growers across Europe and North America; in fact, Latour-Marliac's nursery still exists today.

© The Royal Horticultural Society 2017