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The Victorian Fern Craze

Between 1837 and 1914 Pteridomania, or fern madness, swept through Britain. Against the background of the rise of the amateur gardener and naturalist in the nineteenth century, hundreds of books and articles encouraged a popular fascination with ferns that resulted in widespread collection and cultivation of the plant. It was so popular that from the 1850s ferns also appeared on buildings and everyday objects from carpets to greetings cards.

Sarah’s book The Victorian Fern Craze was published in 2009. The first edition sold out, and it has been reprinted.

In 2012 Frances Lincoln published Sarah’s definitive book on the subject, Fern Fever: The Story of Pteridomania.

Find out all about it on the publications page.

As well as lecturing on the fern craze, Sarah has appeared on BBC television and Radio 4 talking about Pteridomania, and has written articles on it for a number of publications, including the Victorian Society’s Journal, the National Trust magazine, Country Life, The English Garden, Heritage, Devon Life, and Homes and Antiques.