yellow squills in Passenger to Teheran

Jim McKenney
Fri, 05 Mar 2010 08:41:26 PST
Yesterday a thing long desired finally happened: I acquired a copy of V.
Sackville-West’s Passenger to Teheran. It’s the 1990 edition with an
introduction by her son Nigel Nicolson – I recommend this edition for this
introduction in particular because it gives good background information and
gives answers to some questions which the attentive reader will no doubt
want to ask. 


When I finally acquire a book I’ve long wanted, I pounce on it. Last night I
skimmed through the text, starting from the back and working towards the
front as is my style. I was searching for the passages where she describes
seeing Fritillaria imperiialis in the wild. I quickly found that, but I also
found something which left me puzzled. 


Here’s what she wrote: “The yellow squills are everywhere, very strongly
scented.”  What in the world could these have been? Was “squill” a lapsus
calami for “narcissus”, as in Narcissus tazetta? 


Jim McKenney

Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone

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