Shirley Hibberd

Shirley Hibberd was one of the most popular and successful gardening writers of the Victorian Era. The name caught my eye on a list of authors of botanical books from the 1800s that were supposedly ‘Women in Natural History.’ I quickly discovered (via Wikipedia) that the author was a man! It reminded me of a choir director I’d known in my teenage years – also a man named Shirley. Following the tangent thought about Shirley as a first name – I found that Charlotte Bronte is the one that transitioned the name from male to female with her novel (Shirley) published in 1849.

Back to Shirley Hibberd - there are quite a few books available by Hibberd on Internet Archive (list here); some I had looked at years ago and some I found in June. My favorite of the June books was New and rare beautiful leaved plants published in 1870 and available on Internet Archive here.

Lots of ideas of house plants in this book. I was impressed by the variety of shapes, textures and colors.