Mon Dieu! How Mlle Pereire became Mme Pereire

windeauxJanuary 17, 2014

My gardens have been tidied-up -- last season's mulch removed; more than a few roses dug, destined for the wood chipper; the pergola (which for most of a decade supported an exuberant 'Crepuscule' and a trio of Clematis 'Jackmanii') has been dismantled, some parts placed curbside for Saturday morning pick-up, other parts rescued by a thrifty soul up the street.

All of that now behind me, I found time today to return to a few favorite websites, some of which I'd not visited in MANY months. On one of them I found some remarkable information about the woman whose namesake rose is one of my favorite Bourbons (my favorite class of roses). It's always fascinating to learn details about the lives of "people" who inhabit one's garden, don't you think?

Here is a link that might be useful: About Mlle/Mme Periere

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Fanny is easier to say. Thanks for this story.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 12:13AM
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titian1 10b

Fascinating. Thankyou.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 2:04AM
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May I ask why you did away with your pergola and Crepuscule? It's one of my favorite roses. I'm so nosy! And thanks for the link.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 9:23AM
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Yikes! Imagine the tabloid tsunami that would ensue if such a union took place in a prominent family today.

Attempting to sort-out the relationships that resulted is kind of intriguing -- Fanny became her own aunt, a cousin to her children, a sister-in-law to her parents, a daughter-in-law to her grandparents. The range of possible permutations make my head spin.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 10:51PM
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All over the world, and throughout human history until something like a hundred years ago, cousin marriage was so common as to be the norm. It's only recently that it began to bother us. However, an uncle marrying a niece? Too creepy for me.

Nice rose, though.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 11:08PM
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nikthegreek(9b/10a E of Athens, Greece)

At last, an explanation about why this rose which can produce such beautiful blooms, seems to be so temperamental and disease prone for me... lol lol

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 1:02AM
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In many Arab societies the common word for wife is bint 'amm meaning daughter of a paternal uncle even though the couple may not be real cousins. But it goes to prove how common the custom has been, and still is in rural communities.

I lost my Mme Pereire a couple of years ago.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 10:27AM
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Incredibly fascinating! I love these historical byways, for me, one of the attractions of the old roses. Of course, in the case of wealthy people, cousin marriage often was a way of keeping the money in the family. (The church opposed it because it wanted money to be left to it. I don't know why Napoleon opposed it.) I suppose in a way the clan system is an example of this.

In some tribes in the Pacific people were obliged to marry their first cousins -- but it had to be a cross-cousin (child of aunt or uncle of opposite sex). This led to people keeping incredibly elaborate genealogies in their heads and possibly also visually in the form of tattoos and weaving designs, some scholars speculate.

Nowadays, people are almost as put off by the idea of a thirty-five-year-odl year old man marrying a sixteen-year old girl, yet that was practically the norm in the 19th c (and earlier). The age of consent was 12 in England until 1875, according to Wikipedia. It is apparently still 13 in Japan. My great grandmother (from Kentucky) was 15 when she married. There are more things in heaven and earth...

In any case, I know I'ill certainly never look at Mme I Pereire in quite the same way again. How fascinating that they were Fourierists, too! I still am more enamored of Kathleen Harrop, Mme I Perierre's pink sport, but she did not like me, alas. The scent!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 11:41AM
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Monarda, I didn't get into the preferred cross cousin vs forbidden parallel cousin issue. But I do see that you did some of the same reading I did.

Agreed, the age difference bothers us almost as much these days, probably because we want to see both partners in a marriage to have roughly equal power. We are not bothered when a 36 year old woman marries a 50 year old man, even though the age gap is similar, because both partners are fully mature adults. Today we want that 16 year old girl to finish growing up before she marries anyone of any age!

I do not grow Madame Isaac P, but I do grow and love Deuil du Dr Reynaud. Cass Bernstein suggests that they are so similar that they might have been confused at some point. Who knows? It is the most disease susceptible rose in my garden that is going to survive the current 25% removal. Despite rust and powdery mildew, it blooms and blooms and blooms, voluptuous in form, rich in color, and gorgeous in scent. It was in full flush for me here only three weeks ago.


This post was edited by rosefolly on Sun, Jan 19, 14 at 13:59

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 12:39PM
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I do not know how to put this tactfully but in the interest of accuracy, Kathleen Harrop is a sport of Zephrine Drouhin.


    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 2:35PM
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K. Harrop sport of Zepherine Drouhin -- why, of course!
Thanks so much Cath, for the correction! They were confused in my mind.

In any case, I would hate think of these Bourbons going out of commerce. They have a unique refinement, IMO, and incomparable scent.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 4:08PM
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Wikipedia says that marriage of a niece and paternal uncle was practiced in Islamic and other pastoral cultures as a way to keep herds together.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 4:24PM
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This whole topic has been very interesting. Thank you one and all for your contributions!


    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 6:24PM
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canadian_rose(zone 3a)

To put it into a more modern setting, my grandparents (came to Canada in the early 20th century) were first cousins. My grandmother was the only person who would immigrate with my grandfather.

I have sooooo many health problems which are genetic - kidney, neurological, bone, etc. Are they related to the genetic proximity of my grandparents? Who knows, but I've passed them down to my children.

So I say, vive le difference!! LOL
Carol (usually in rose discussion and gallery - snuck over here for a look.) :)

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 9:30PM
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One of my cousins recently married her (our) second cousin (both had been married before and had grown children). I don't think second cousins share very much genetic material at all. Three point something percent, I think. First cousins share 12 1/2 percent. But one is more closely related to an aunt or uncle: 25 percent. That is exclusive of the material one shares with all other people, which is a lot, something like 99.9 percent of the total, just by virtue of being members of the same species. I once read somewhere that people even share a considerable amount (five percent was suggested) of their genetic material with a daylily. A nice thought. Or with a rose.

This post was edited by monarda on Mon, Jan 20, 14 at 14:47

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 1:50AM
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Cousin relationship can get even more complicated. One example would be double first cousins, two siblings who each marry two people who are also siblings. Their children are cousins who are as closely related as brothers and sisters.

I have always been fascinated by this subject because I myself have cousins to whom I am more closely related that is usual, though not as close as double first cousins. My mother's sister married a man whose sister married my father's brother. I don't think they even have a word for what kind of cousins we all are. Triangular cousins? It was a great puzzle to me working this out when I was growing up. And no, they did not come from a rural area. They all lived in Boston in the middle of the 20th century.


    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 3:01AM
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I have a sad true story about cousins. We had a good friend from college who just got out of a bad relationship with a woman who abused him mentally and physically. At a wedding of a distant family member, he met a charming woman and they bonded like soul mates. She made him so happy. They did not know they were cousins. After a few months when they knew they were first cousins, they worried about telling the family that they were dating. I never said anything because they were so happy together and I didn't have a strong opinion and they never knew each other as children or had a large age difference.

Finally, they decided to tell the family and then it was open hostility against them until she finally decided that it would be easier to leave our friend than to give up ties with her entire family. He was crushed and felt like he had lost everything. At that time, I wished they could have gone overseas and been happy instead, but family was everything to her and she had to choose. He's gone now and I don't know where he went. He just slipped away after becoming more and more isolated. I always thought it was a modern tragedy. Why did they have to be so unlucky that way?

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 10:49AM
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canadian_rose(zone 3a)

Yes, this is called Genetic Sexual Attraction. Here is a blurb about it.
1.GSA is a natural response to a broken situation. Humans have been designed to bond with their kin starting at the onset of the relationship and for whatever reasons (divorce, abandonment, adoption) it did not happen. This need to bond, which has been dormant for years, finally has the opportunity at the reunion to form a fierce and profound connection.

2. When these âÂÂstrangersâ finally meet, their brain does not register a family member, they register a stranger that has a title of âÂÂbrother, sister, mother or father.â As a result, unexpected appealing desires, an attraction to a kin member that is involuntary and overwhelming with intimacy initiates GSA.

3. GSA provokes an immensity of yearning; emotionally, psychologically, and physically to unite and secure the bond that has been missing and now seems impossible to live without.

4.GSA can be emotionally, mentally and psychologically traumatic. Often those who reunite with a loved one are unprepared and unaware that GSA can happen. It is so unexpected that meeting a family member would create an experience of sexual attraction that it can easily overwhelms an individualâÂÂs ability to cope.
Genetic Sexual Attraction seems to work at a genetic level. People can find out later that they're related. I watched a show on this, and it's amazing how often this will happen. There are websites for this.

Wow!! We're really getting intense here for a rose forum. :) Feel free to not comment.
Carol :)

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 3:25PM
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Floridarose: You asked why I removed 'Crepuscule' and its supporting pergola . . . When, almost 18 yrs ago, we selected a site to build this home, the agent asserted that the towering pines on one side of the property were "mature". I assumed that meant they would grow no taller. What a naïve assumption THAT proved to be.

We planted other trees, as did a neighbor. Portions of the property that once were very sunny gradually became shaded during much of the day -- ie, increasingly inhospitable to the roses that once grew so happily in those areas. So there you have it . . . 'Crepuscule' wasn't the only casualty, but it certainly was the most prominent one.

Come spring, the side garden where the pergola stood will be planted with Southern Indica azaleas ('George L Taber' and/or 'Mrs GG Gerbing'), and probably a few other shade-tolerant plants. Nearby, beds behind a stone retaining wall will be home to a mass planting of Camellia sasanqua 'Marge Miller', the first-ever trailing camellia discovered in Australia that, at long last, is now available to American gardeners.

Several years ago, a group of local water colorists came here on a spring weekend to paint 'Crepuscule' doing her riotous thing on her pergola. I hounded one of those artists mercilessly until he finally caved-in and sold his painting to me. Now that my 'Crepuscule' exists only as a fond memory, and as the subject of that wonderful water color painting, I'm more glad than ever that I was such a persistent nudge.

PS: LOL -- You're right, Carol. Sure didn't anticipate such a lively exchange among rose folk regarding social mores and taboos vis-ÃÂ -vis incest.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 4:03PM
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Well, that would have broken my heart. I almost lost one of my Crepuscules this year to a malfunctioning sprinkler. I'm trying to baby it back.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 5:59PM
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Well, that would have broken my heart. I almost lost one of my Crepuscules this year to a malfunctioning sprinkler. I'm trying to baby it back.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 6:21PM
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Roses and stories--two of my favorite things! Thank you for the history lesson.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 8:20PM
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Two famous instances of GSA are the poets Byron and Wordsworth, who became extraordinarily close to their long-lost sisters when reunited as adults. In the case of Byron, it was his half sister. Many have alleged (even at the time) that incest did occur between them, not least because Byron, who liked people to think of him as "bad", himself hinted at it. With Wordsworth and Dorothy, probably not. But they did become "soul-mates".

I suppose I am foolishly idealistic in our cynical age, but I like to think these relationships, including Byron's, remained platonic, albeit intense and probably painfully confusing as well as exhilarating -- which is just how the Romantic poets liked it.

The truth is we will never know what really happened, in the absence of further evidence; and I'm not sure we really do need to know.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 1:37PM
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Rogue Valley Roses says that some suggest Deuil du Doctor Raynaud could be the same rose as a bourbon called Philémon Cochet, which Helpmefind calls a seedling of Mme Isaac Pereire. They do look rather alike in pictures. There is also a pink sport of Mme Isaac Pereire., Mme. Ernest Calvat.

I looked up Dr. Raynaud on wikipedia and found out that Maurice Raynaud was a brilliant doctor who did research on rabies with Louis Pasteur. He was the discoverer of Raynaud's disease (it was his doctoral thesis). Among his numerous publications were a book, 'Medicine In the Time of Molière' and a 48-page article 'Asclepiades of Bithynia, Doctor and Philosopher'.

Dr. Raynaud died untimely at the age of 46 of heart disease before he could be named to the Chair of Medical History at the University of Paris, his fondest wish, and was deeply mourned by his colleagues.

Being commemorated by a great rose is a fitting tribute to such a man, IMO.

If it turns out that Deuil du Docteur Raynaud is indeed the same rose as Philémon Cochet, I think the change of name is justified since there is another fine rose, Souvenir de Philémon Cochet, a double white rugosa, by that name. I don't know if there is any final authority on these matters, but I'm rooting for Dr. Raynaud.

I wish I had room for some of these roses!

Here is a link that might be useful: Maurice Raynaud, M.D.

This post was edited by monarda on Wed, Jan 22, 14 at 9:27

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 7:52AM
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