The world’s largest flower – lost in Liverpool?

16 August 2007 by Karen

Sorry – should have put this up last week but it’s still current. John Edmondson has been involved in a new exhibition showing at the Picton LIbrary – that’s the round, reading room that’s part of Liverpool’s Central Library. It’s between World Musem Liverpool and the Walker so could easily be fitted in with a visit to either.

An exhibition opening on 8 August at Liverpool Central Library titled “Spice of Life: Raffles and the Malay World” has been organised by the British Library to celebrate their acquisition of the important Raffles family archive containing the papers, artefacts and natural history drawings of Sir Stamford Raffles, founder of Singapore. His relatives lived in Liverpool and after returning to London with specimens of the world’s largest flower, Rafflesia (named in his honour) his agent arranged to send a pickled sample to Liverpool. Unfortunately, it seems to have gone missing, possibly in the May Blitz in 1941 which destroyed the natural history galleries at World Museum Liverpool. Research by the exhibition organiser, Annabel Gallop from the British Library, has unearthed correspondence between Robert Brown and William Roscoe concerning the Rafflesia. Some of the natural history drawings, and other objects, will be on display in the Picton Library until October. The exhibition has the enthusiastic support of the local Malaysian community.
John Edmondson

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