b 21 May 1869, daughter of Sir Charles and Hon Georgiana Susan [née Copley] [d 11 June 1926, daughter of 1st Baron Lyndhurst] Du Cane [5 December 1825-February 1889] of
Braxted Park near Witham d 3 July 1955
The Flowers and Gardens of Japan 
The Flowers and Gardens of Madeira 
Florence Du Cane was the elder sister of Ella Mary Du Cane [4 June 1874-23 November1943], and wrote the text to a number of books illustrated by her sister.
Tokyo had lost its love of gardening: many of the finest landscape gardens had been swept away to make room for foreign houses, factories and breweries. The Japanese still loved their dwarf trees. Temple gardens remained peaceful and secluded. Unluckily many of them were fast falling into decay. Perhaps it was better so, as they would surely suffer at the hands of the restorer. At Uyeno the cherry trees reigned supreme; the mixing of other shrubs or trees would be unnecessary and meaningless. A few large bronze lanterns and grey stones helped to show off the delicate pink when they were in full glory. At Nara, the cryptomeria formed the principal setting; in spring, many of the trees were wreathed with wisteria, suggestive of a grey misty vapour rather than a real flower. A tiny garden in Kyoto had an irresistible charm, though hardly more than a toy compared to the scale of English gardens. While the snow was still lying deep in the northern provinces, in warm and sheltered districts the plum blossom would clothe the trees with flowers as white as the snow. Towards the end of March the first flowers of the peach tree would be opening, although for long before this time, branches covered with the bright pink buds would have been among the flowers offered for arrangement.
Miss Du Cane's mental picture of Madeira before her first visit was of luxuriant vegetation flourishing in a damp, enervating climate. Some feeling of disappointment entered her mind when she first looked on the Bay of Funchal. Any such feeling must surely be quickly dispelled on landing. She heartily recommended a visit to Madeira to those who wished to explore natural scenery: probably no other island of its size had such grand and varied scenery. The gardens around Funchal were usually on a very small, almost diminutive scale. The love of gardening, unfortunately, seemed to be dying out among the Portuguese in Madeira. Most of the larger gardens on the outskirts of Funchal were owned by English residents, and to them Madeira owed the introduction of many floral treasures. Gradually ascending to a higher altitude, those who could tear their eyes away from the beautiful view of the Bay and the curiously shaped hills would notice that the ferns and foxglove - so abundant at lower altitude - would gradually vanish. To collectors mountain expeditions were a never-ending joy, as, according to the different seasons of the year, innumerable treasures were to be found.
Little, Alicia Helen
b 1845 in Madeira, daughter of Calverley and Mary Amelia Bewicke m 1886 Archibald Little [d 1908] d 31 July 1926
The Land of the Blue Gown 
Mrs Little was a quite prolific writer on China where she spent a number of years. She could imagine nothing more tonic for the person wearied of London, and perhaps somewhat overladen with the cant of the day - æsthetic, hygienic and social-economic - than a sojourn in Peking before the Boxer Rebellion. The European colony of Shanghai rarely skirted beyond the Concession; men who had been twenty years in China and did not speak a word of the language, had never set foot in the Chinatown. The first thoroughly pleasant afternoon Alicia Little spent there was when, in a little company in rickshas, she careered along the Bund. This was always a most animated scene with its motley crowd of longpigtailed Chinamen, Sikh policemen of magnificent proportions, coolies, Parsees, Jews, Portuguese, French, English etc.
One summer the Littles were living in Chungking, fifteen hundred miles from the sea. It was very hot, and all day long Mrs Little was shut up in the sitting room so she started a diary, recalling many simple pleasures and some painful days. One of the great excitements in Chinese city life was when a great traveller came by. Two, who had specially strange tales to tell, had written no books. One was the missionary Annie Taylor who passed through Chungking on her way home from Tibetan voyagings. She was still full of enthusiasm for the Tibetans. Her hardships would require a volume. Miss Taylor's picture of Tibetans was so unlike anything Mrs Little had read in any book of travels that it seemed to her well worth recording.
b 1846, daughter of Wilbrahim Spencer Tollemache m 1873 Charles Savile Roundell MP [19 July1827-3 March 1906]
A Visit to the Azores 
Mrs Roundell went to the Azores in 1888. On their first drive, a friend accomplis hed the wonderful feat of carving a cold chicken placed in a small soup plate when they were in almost total darkness, the moon not having risen. They kept the landau open as long as they could, but soon rain came down in torrents, and even Mr Roundell was driven inside.
They moved on by steamer in half a gale. Julia Roundell and her friend wedged themselves into their berths with rugs and bags, but even then they had to hold on, and the racing of the screw was dreadful. As they were rowed ashore at Fayal the varied and brilliant colours looked beautiful: the bright blue water of the harbour; the white line of surf breaking on the black lava shore; the brown, red and orange, mixed with patches of vivid green, of the southern headland and the frowning black rocks of the northern point; the street of white houses half hidden in foliage, and the marvellous turf walls of the crater rising behind, formed a picture which they could never forget. They anchored at Terceira. The captain advised them not to land, as smallpox was quite an epidemic in the island. Good Friday morning was too rough and wet for even her friend to land, and the American ladies got ashore with great difficulty. In the afternoon the gale moderated, and the other two went on shore, getting a thorough wetting as they went. On Easter Monday the Roundells returned to Madeira. All their possessions had to be re-examined at the Custom House just as if they had arrived from a foreign country. Their protestations were all in vain.
Taylor, Ellen M
Madeira: Its Scenery and How to See It 
Ellen Taylor, who had a lifelong acquaintance with Madeira, hoped that her book might be a practical contribution to the want of a Handbook of Madeira. Four-fifths of her book did so. She added a small selection of letters written over a year in 1880-81. She was thankful for a couple of little jars of "Liebig's Extract" on the outward sea voyage, as she had only to ask for some boiling water, and she was able to give her travelling companion - a wretched sailor - a cup of tea or soup. Their landing was very primitive. They rather regretted having brought the piano; they found they could have hired one at moderate terms. Nature in the island greatly helped the invalid to whom a complete change and rest were necessary. Her friend's first essaying in "hammocking" came off most successfully. The hammock men were perfect marvels of freshness and tidiness in their attire. There had to be a certain rhythm in hammock carrying, to make it a pleasant and soothing experience instead of the reverse. Miss Taylor found the rough pavement in Funchal very trying at first.
The couple began to feel like old residents, especially as Ellen Taylor's friend was quite another creature, and had regained much of her lost strength. They only had horses twice a week, as they liked keeping on the hammock and the bearers. They often went to the English Library, and were much diverted by the view from the balcony window of the busy scene on the beach. In March they were for a fortnight at Santa Cruz, and enjoyed the change enormously. In May they went further afield, with friends. The gentlemen had horses, and the four ladies hammocks, with a spare bearer to each. A mule took their heavy baggage, the extra bearers carrying their hand-bags. Miss Taylor's simple plant-pressing apparatus of two thin boards and a leather strap answered very well.