KING TREE by Fiona French


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French turns from the stately Chinese porcelain design of The Blue Bird (KR, 1972) to the elegant formal gardens of Versailles in this polished fable about the selection of a king of the trees. Though the oak, laurel, pomegranate, olive and vine all vie for the post, the ladies of the court choose the orange tree (not surprisingly, as he is the first tree to be introduced and the one who suggests that the ladies decide), for he gives fruit like the sun, fragrance from his flowers, and shelter with his leaves. If there is less wisdom in the decision than meets the eye, it is surely for the eye that the story was created. With each tree represented as a man dressed in rich and elaborate manner of the Sun King's court (the vine, for example, all in purple, with grapes for hair and a glass of wine in his hand), the result, like the setting, is both strikingly opulent and highly artificial.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1973
Publisher: Walck