Portrait of Elizabeth Twining

Contributed by Mark De Novellis

Portrait of Elizabeth Twining

Born into the prestigious tea dynasty which still trades under the family name, Elizabeth Twining (1805-89) had the financial security to dedicate her life to philanthropic causes and her passion for botany and art. In two biographies published in 1893, her sister Louisa recounts that Elizabeth's artistic talent was evident from an early age. Elizabeth studied works displayed at London galleries and created minutely detailed copies to decorate her doll's houses. Her second love,for flowers, was nurtured by visits to the Royal Horticultural Society at Chiswick and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. The year 1849 saw the anticipated publication of Illustrations of the Natural Order of Plants.
The original drawings of these outstanding botanical studies are now housed in the British Museum, a testament to their accuracy. Subsequent publications on botany include The Plant World (1866)and Lectures on Plants (1878).

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