Eliza Acton (1799 -1859)
Flower Festival 2012:
Arranged by Judy East in memory of Joan Barton.
Born in Battle, Sussex, Eliza lived most of her life in Suffolk. After running a school for some years she moved to France where she is rumoured to have had a lover – a daring step for her time. Possibly the affair was an unhappy experience, because following her return in 1926 she published ‘Poems’, most of them love poems. Perhaps she was trying to mend a broken heart?
But Eliza was practical as well. In her ‘Modern Cookery for Private Families’, published in 1845, she initiated the now universal practice of listing the ingredients and quantities separate from the text of the recipe as well as indicating cooking times. And she had strong opinions about processed and adulterated food.
The arrangement includes myrtle for its association with Venus, goddess of love, allium (from the onion family) cabbage and asparagus fern.
Eliza moved to Hampstead for the last few years of her life and died here in 1859.
This page was last updated on July 17th, 2012.