London — The Herb Society in association with the Juniper Press has just published a charming quartet of booklets each dealing with a particular culinary herb. Titles of the first four books in the series are "A Multitude of Mints," "In Celebration of Chives," "In Praise of Parsley" and "The Romance of Rosemary."
The contents are compiled by the directors of the Herb Society, Guy Cooper and Gordon Taylor and the preface to each booklet has been contributed by an eminent food writer. Elizabeth David introduces the little volume on mint, Jane Grigson on chives, Arabella Boxer on parsley and Caroline Conran on rosemary.
The format of each 48-page booklet follows a similar pattern. Botanical details of the plant, synonyms and details of habitat are followed by pages on the cultivation of the herb and methods of preservation. Myths, historical data and symbolism connected with each herb are described.
Then come references to herbals and a section on the use of the herb in cooking and recipe material. Other uses of each herb are given and, finally, a bibliography of sources, authorities and titles for further reading.
Terry Stratton's cover designs are distinctive and attractive as are the line drawings and illustrations from herbals which are reproduced by courtesy of the Wellcome Trustees.
The booklets make ideal gift items at $:1.50 each. The reader is provided with an agreeable mixture of literary, botanical and culinary fare together with pleasing art work. The slim size of the books makes them perfect traveling companions and no guest-room bookshelf should be without them.
The booklets may be obtained directly from The Herb Society, 34 Boscobel Place, London, S. W. 1 ($:1.75 each including UK postage and packing).