Abstract

Abstract:

Throughout the nineteenth century, British journalists wondered whether or not it was safe to sleep near potted plants. Known to alter indoor air quality through photosynthesis and respiration, houseplants raised questions about the significance of sharing one's environment with vegetal beings. This essay investigates why concerns about houseplant safety persisted for so long in Victorian periodicals and examines what they can tell us about the perception of human-plant relationships in nineteenth-century Britain. Drawing on critical plant studies, I argue that the dangerous houseplant myth ironically afforded garden writers a chance to extoll vital ties between human and vegetal existence.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-526X
Print ISSN
0709-4698
Pages
pp. 1-23
Launched on MUSE
2021-06-24
Open Access
No
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