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Feast & Fast

The Art of Food in Europe, 1500 – 1800

69: John Parkinson, Paradisi in sole paradisus terrestris

John Parkinson, Paradisi in sole paradisus terrestris or, A Garden of all Sorts of Pleasant Flowers which our English ayre will permitt to be noursed up (London, 1629) The notion of the pineapple as a heavenly fruit had gripped the European popular imagination ever since Columbus first encountered it on Guadaloupe in November 1495. The frontispiece of John Parkinson’s Earthly Paradise shows the Garden of Eden, with a large healthy pineapple centre-stage, between Eve foraging for strawberries and Adam inspecting a strange fruit tree. This is the earliest known image of a pineapple in an English printed book. Perhaps Parkinson gave this exotic fruit such prominence in Paradise because of a contemporary theory that claimed that the pineapple was ‘the apple that Eve cozened Adam with’.

Given anonymously, 1945

MSSPB Reserve Collection

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