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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Daffodils and Pink Roses


The scene is a classic in romance novels: the hero, smitten with the heroine's charms, presents her with a bouquet of flowers.

Ah yes, flowers. Every woman likes to receive them--I know I do. They're pretty, they smell nice, and they mean the presenter has been thinking of you.

But why do flowers figure in courtship? According to sociologists Alan S. Miller and Satoshi Kanazawa, authors of Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters, there may be a genetic basis for the behavior. Genes' survival depends on passing themselves to the next generation. A woman needs to know if a man possesses the resources to support their children. A man has to proclaim he is a good provider. Voila, flowers.

Pretty as they are, flowers have no survival value. You can't eat them, wear them or save them for the future. When a man presents a woman with flowers, he shows he has sufficient wealth to spend valuable resources on something nonessential. The behavior also demonstrates his generosity. He is willing to part with his hard-earned money to buy those worthless flowers.

But then, we are more than our genes. I like daffodils and pink roses. My husband buys me pink roses all year long. Now, in February, the first of the cut daffodils have arrived here in New England. He goes out of his way to find them for me. For as long as we've been together, he's brought me flowers. Why? We're married. He no longer has to prove anything. But he still brings me those flowers, and the specific flowers I like--because he wants me to be happy. Is love part of our genes, or beyond them? Do we care?

And I do enjoy those daffodils. Happy Valentine's Day.

Thank you all,
Linda
Linda Banche
Regency romance--most with humor, some with fantasy, and occasionally a paranormal

Lady of the Stars--A legend spanning time, and the man and woman caught in it--Regency time travel, available from The Wild Rose Press

15 comments:

Kaye Manro said...

Hi Linda! This looks like a wonderfully romantic blog. It is great to receive flowers. And how sweet that you hubby is such a romantic himself. Nice post.

Bekki Lynn said...

Linda -- it's lovely to have a man who thinks of you so often and actually knows the flowers you love.

Men like this are a treasure.

Thanks for posting.

Lindsay Townsend said...

Hi Linda! A beautiful, romantic post. Do your heroes give flowers in your books?

I love daffs and roses, too!
Thanks for this really pretty post!

Linda Banche said...

Hi Kaye, thanks for coming over. I agree, this blog is beautiful. And having my husband bring me flowers is always nice.

Bekki, I tell my husband he's a keeper.

Lindsay, you have good taste in flowers. None of my heroes have given their heroines flowers yet, but the heroes do go out of their way to help the heroines. I'll have to work on the flowers.

joannawaugh said...

Lovely blog, Linda. It is interesting to note that, during the Victorian era, a whole language grew up around the giving and wearing of flowers, just as there was an unspoken language of the fan.
~Jo~

Helen Hardt said...

Linda, this was a beautiful post. And I find it extremely interesting that none of your heroes have given their heroines flowers yet. Neither have mine. And I only realized it just now. I love when my husband brings me flowers. Strange that I haven't put this in any of my books. I'll definitely remedy that.

Helen

Linda Banche said...

Joanna and Helen, thanks.

Joanna, I thought the language of flowers was Regency. Guess I was wrong.I wonder what daffodils and pink roses mean.

Helen, my heroes and heroines haven't had traditional courtships, so maybe that's why I haven't had flowers yet. But I'll add them soon.

Savanna Kougar said...

Linda, beautiful post... Daffodils are one of the most gorgeous in spring...
And roses, I can never get enough of them...
Somewhere I have a book about what flowers mean in courtship during Victorian times.
I have used flowers in some of my novels... but as sensual scene usually.
Fascinatingly, my hero, Volcano talks about the meaning of roses in his Angelic Forecast.
What a wonderful husband you have...sigh...

Lindsay Townsend said...

We need some links here, ladies.

How about a link to the angelic forecast on roses, Savanna?

And, Linda or Joanna, how about a link to Regency and Victorian flower symbolism? (Or do you think that's another blog topic?)

AND. Helen and Linda - let us know when your heroes give your heroines flowers! (Grin)Or maybe vice-versa?

Savanna Kougar said...

Lindsay, what a great idea for future blogs... the symbolism of flowers in romance and passion...

And great idea about sharing those romantic flower-giving moments...

I don't if it will be active, but here's the link to Volcano's Angelic Forecast ~ http://sirenbookstrand.blogspot.com ~

MarthaE said...

Interesting blog Linda! Thanks. My DH is very good about getting me flowers and other nonessential gifts!!

Linda Banche said...

Thanks, Savanna and Martha.

And here are some "Language of the flowers links"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floriography

http://www.pioneerthinking.com/flowerlanguage.html


Joanna and I are both right. According to this link, the language of flowers came to Europe from Turkey in the 18th century, and the first European book was written in 1819, Regency times.

http://www.joellessacredgrove.com/language.html

Lindsay Townsend said...

Thanks, ladies! Really interesting! I love info like this!
Beautiful blogspot, Savanna, with Volcano!
Thanks for those links, Linda!
Flowers can also have sinister symbolism. I exploit that in my romantic suspense, The English Daughter.
I think you're right - lots of stuff for other blogs here.

Savanna Kougar said...

Flowers, herbs, trees can have a sinister connotation...
Black roses, for example...
Interesting use.

Sarashifter said...

This was lovely. Flowers, as traditional as they may be, are always a romantic gift. Beautiful!