yellow squills in Passenger to Teheran
Fri, 05 Mar 2010 10:24:14 PST
On 5 Mar 2010, at 11:41, Jim McKenney wrote:

> 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?

Might it have been an eremurus? Or an asphodeline? Does she give the date of 
seeing these, or is it inferrable from context?

PS: You aren't the only one to read books backward. I even do that to some 
novels; knowing the denouement can help one plow through the slower parts that 

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Maritime Zone 8, a cool Mediterranean climate
on beautiful Vancouver Island…

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