The Maverick Botanist
Nicolas Culpepper 1616-1654
He grew up in the English countryside, his grandfather was the village priest and believed that if you fell ill it was gods punishment. This notion was widely believed.
Culpepper had different ideas, he spent his days learning about nature, making remedies and how they work medically.
Nicolas Culpepper lived in a tumultuous time, filled with famine and plagues. London had in total 30 doctors, only the rich had access for medical care.
Culpepper ran underground pharmacies where he created remedies for the poor and the sick. His aim was to get medicine to the masses. This at the time was heresy. He published books on herbalism became the most successful non-religious books for over 300 years.
Why I love Culpepper so much is because, forget the romantic poets.. Culpepper’s pugnacious character and his devotion for progression through nature meant that he was willing to die… he was a rebel, fighting for something so important and unjust.
He illustrations of English wildflowers mixed with gothic imagery and fonts to me are so powerfully beautiful and sum up a deception of pastoral rural England during the 17th century.