© 1987
Margaret Mee's Books
Her life embraced art, politics, the threatened environment and a quest for a very elusive Amazon flower. Most of all all Margaret was an brilliant story-teller .
The Birth of a Legend

Margaret Mee began painting flowers in Brasil in the 1950's. This is an account of her principal and highly valued works leading to the launch of Margaret Mee's Amazon a major exhibition in London when sixty of her paintings were published in a catalogue in November 1988

All books, catalogues and other publications produced after Margaret's death in 1988 are not included.



Beginnings After a challenging political life in London fortytwo year old Margaret arrived in Brasil in November 1951 and almost immediately found a job teaching art at St Paul's, the British school in São Paulo. St Paul's was at the heart of a patriotic British Community with numerous connections to the Brasilian elite. While teaching at St.Paul's she made her first journey to the Amazon forest and in 1958 twenty five of her paintings were exhibited in the São Paulo house of the Cultura Inglesa an organisation devoted to the arts and cultural exchange between Britain and Brasil. The Exhibition opened on Monday May 5th and soon afterwards she was offered work as a botanical illustrator at the Instituto de Botânica de São Paulo.

Margaret lived in a southern suburb of the rapidly growing city

Margaret found herself working on the Bromeliaceae, a group of plants that with one exception is unique to the Americas. The Bromeliad Family has a variety of forms from the straggly grey Spanish moss found on trees and even telephone wires to the those with brilliant colours in the rainforests. Margaret's work was commissioned to illustrate the Flora Brasilica an extraordinarily ambitious documentary project to catalogue and illustrate the plants of Brasil. The Flora Brasilica was the brainchild of Carlos Federico Hoehne and it got off to a good start. Several volumes were published and can still be found in specialist stores. But by the late 1950's the costs were mounting.

Mad about Plants Federico Carlos Hoehne was born in 1899 in the small town of Juiz da Fora, set in wooded country in the State of Minas Gerais some 180kms from Rio de Janeiro. In those days Rio was the capital of Brasil. Hoehne had a passion for plants and his career began when he was appointed the chief gardener at the Museu Nacional in Rio de Janeiro. He travelled in Brasil on plant collecting expeditions and was a botanist on the Roosevelt-Rondon Expedition to Amazonia in 1913-14. Theodore Roosevelt an ex- president of the USA took a privately funded expedition to the western Amazon and the Brasilian Government appointed Candido Rondon,a sertanista - someone who had immense experience of the interior of the country - to be the interpreter. Afterwards Carlos Hoehne continued in the Brasilian botanical world and helped found the Instituto de Botânica de São Paulo.

Travels and travaux The Instituto de Botânica arranged for Margaret to join collecting expeditions in the Brasilian coastal mountains near São Paulo and further away to the forested slopes of Serra dos Órgãos 50kms north of Rio de Janeiro. In 1960 she travelled to the dry scrublands of Pernambuco and Ceara some 2000kms northwest. Margaret worked with Brasilian specialists and later from 1964 with an American botanist, Lyman B Smith, who had been granted use of the facilties at the Institute. Lyman Smith with a doctorate from Harvard [USA] made his first visit to Brasil in 1928 and was a world expert on the subject of the Bromeliad Family. He knew that Margaret's paintings of bromeliads for the Flora Brasilica may never be published due to shortage of funds and instead were to be kept locked in the archives. Margaret was aware of this too and often considered leaving her job as she had personal plans for a book and needed paintings she owned. Lyman Smith had his own ideas and arranged with Dr.Alcides Teixeira the director of the Institute at that time to buy a set of twenty paintings for the Smithsonian Institution, Washington. Dr Teixeira lent a further thirty for as long as they were needed by Lyman Smith.


Carlos Hoehne: 1882-1959 - Lyman B Smith: 1904-1997 and Margaret Mee 1909-1988 . To this day much of Margaret's work for the Institute remains in its archives in São Paulo as part of a unique record of Brasilian flora. A collection of over sixty of these paintings was published in Brasil by the Instituto de Botânica de São Paulo and the BANESPA bank in 1992



Courtesy David Lorimer

In 1965 Margaret moved to a house in Rua Fiandeiras, Vila Olympica at that time a suburb close to São Paulo's Congonhas airport
Luxury binding of morocco and marbled paper sides: Courtesy The late Sally Duchess of Westminster. Detail of the gold embossing and the frontispiece Catasetum saccatum an orchid from the Mato Grosso

This magnificent folio is the greatest work produced for Margaret and had a long history involving both her talents and some lucky timing. When she was working as an artist at the Instituto de Botânica de São Paulo Margaret often wondered how she could create a book but she could have had no idea of how beautiful it would be. In 1960 an exhibition of her work was shown at the Halls of the Royal Horticulural Society in London and she was awarded the Society's Grenfell Medal. Then in the following year influential friends in Brasil suggested she should seek help from the very top of British society. Margaret's work had caught the attention of Sir George Taylor who at that time was the Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Sir George had been Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew since 1956 and was knighted in 1962. He was also a member of the Council of the Royal Horticultural Society. Another cog in the wheel was The Hon.Aylmer Tryon the son of the Ist Baron Tryon and just two months younger than Margaret. He had just opened a gallery for 'natural history art' in Dover Street, London. The very exclusive Tryon Gallery lay in the heart of Mayfair, an outrageously expensive part of the capital and was already establishing a reputation for exhibiting and selling the finest collections. Wilfrid Blunt an art critic who made his name for botanical art with a book The Art of Botanical Illustration [William Collins 1950] was also approached. Over the next two or three years a plan took shape and HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh agreed to be a Patron. Aylmer Tryon arranged with George Rainbird a gifted designer and publisher to create the folio. Rainbird was the only state educated member of the team and had founded his own publishing company in 1951. The work was to be of the highest quality and expensive.

There was no looking back and along the way to success another exhibition gave extra impetus. In 1964 the Museu de Arte in São Paulo presented a collection of Margaret's work titled Flora Brasilica and this helped to establish her reputation with numerous botanists and artists in Brasil and London. One reviewer later commented that the 'exhibition and the folio book Flowers of the Brazilian Forests will go down in the history of botany'

Production. Margaret left the Instituto de Botânica in 1965 and devoted much of her her time to the book. It contains 31 plates and a Frontispiece making a total of 32 works from various sources. Each plate is described scientifically by a one of 10 specialists including Lyman Smith and Guido Pabst. In most pages a small black and white sketch separates their notes from an extract from Margaret's diaries. Two pages of maps with plant locations were included; Acknowledgements were given by Aylmer Tryon, Sir George Taylor wrote the Preface and Roberto Burle Marx contributed a glowing Introduction. The book was 'Produced under the Patronage of H.RH.THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH,K.G'

In the mid 1950's George Rainbird had acquired Zaehnsdorf specialists in exquisite binding. The firm was established in London in 1842 by Joseph Zaehnsdorf from Budapest and it rose to become one of Europe's most famous binders using traditional leatherwork. Rainbird also needed the finest printing for the plates and printing he chose L.Van Leer and Company, Amsterdam [Ed note: Viewed today in the world of computer based scanning the plates made in 1967 appear to lack detail and some fine gradation. But in the 1960's they were wonderful examples of printing craft. They convey character and depth often lacking in modern computer based printing] The work was drawn together during the summer of 1967 and Margaret had to work from dawn to dusk producing one hundred individual paintings for the '100 luxury copies' The binding was finished with real gold leaf and the tops of the pages were gilded.

November 1967 A 'Private View' at the Tryon Gallery was followed by a dinner in her honour to launch Flowers of the Brazilian Forests. The Press announced the book with enormous acclaim largely because it was a publishing landmark in a 'Beatles' era Britain still recovering from post Second World War austerity. Most of the 500 copies were sold in advance. The Times {London} said 'almost sold out at 175 guineas a copy'. In those years that sum was about three months salary for a junior schoolteacher. But perhaps the most fascinating of all the reviews appeared in the Journal of The Royal Horticultural Society when Wilfred Blunt wrote of her paintings: "They place Mrs Mee in the first rank of botanical artists. Indeed they would stand without shame in the high company of Georg Dionys Ehret and Redoute." .. Blunt was naming two of the greatest botanical painters of all time. Wilfrid Blunt was the brother of Sir Anthony Blunt, Surveyor of the Queen's Paintings, a curiously archaic title and whose life behind the facade told another story. Anthony Blunt was a master spy and passed information to the USSR [the Soviet Union]. By the time of the launch his allegiance to Communism was known to the British Intelligence Services and in 1979 he was 'outed' and stripped of his title. [the knighthood / and address 'Sir' was taken away]. Wilfrid was not without blemishes either and he had upset the botanical world with his comments about the paintings of the wealthy Victorian traveller Marianne North whose work is still housed in a special gallery at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. [The Art of Botanical Illustration, 1950]. Dates, names and backgrounds will appear in Time Line]

The November launch was followed by 'An Exhibition of Water-colours by Margaret Mee including the majority of the originals for 'Flowers of the Brazilian Forests'. 4th -17th January 1968 The Tryon Galllery 41/42 Dover Street London W1.' The folio carries the copyright date 1968


Flowers of the Brazilian Forests - Published by The Tryon Gallery in association with George Rainbird 1968. The plates were made by L.Van Leer and Company N.V of Amsterdam. The binding was by Zaehnsdorf of London. Copies A-F were not sold and were reserved for Margaret and her friends. Copies 1- 100 were bound in full vellum and each contained a small original drawing. Copies 101- 500 were quarter bound in morocco with hand marbled paper sides made by the Societé des Papieres Keller Dorian et Tutois Frères réunis. A few very basic file copies were made with blue cloth binding and inscribed -'ex-series'. All editions were presented in slip cases



The book contains 32 plates printed on lightly glazed paper. Each painting is approximately 175mm high x 124mm wide placed centrally on a single page. Paintings numbered 1 - 11 and 13 to 16 are from works held in the Smithsonian Institution, Washington [USA], 17 to 20 and 31 and 32 are from the Instituto de Botânica de São Paulo. Painting 10 is Vreesia erythrodactylon a species found in the forests of the Serra do Mar along the Atlantic coast. This specimen came from Caraguatatuba near Santos the port for São Paulo and the painting was a gift from Margaret to Lyman Smith's wife. Meticulous notes for the species accompany the plates

The jacket with a painting of Aechmea fosteriana lent by the Instituto de Botânica de São Paulo and drawn from a plant growing in the country garden of Brasil's internationally acclaimed artist and landscape designer the late Roberto Burle Marx, Rio de Janeiro. The plant came from the area of Espirito Santo to the north of Rio.

Lyman Smith with Margaret on the back of the book jacket

Lyman Bradford Smith was born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA in 1904. He gained all his academic qualifications at Harvard [USA] including a doctorate in 1930. He focused his botanical interest on the Bromeliad family and made six trips to Brasil before 1969. His first journey was in 1928 when he used a Sheldon Traveling Fellowship to work in the Instituto de Botânica de São Paulo under the direction of Carlos Hoehne. He worked largely on the bromeliads of the forests of Santa Catarina some 430 kms southwest of Sâo Paulo. After World War II he returned to Brasil in 1948, 1952. 1956 and again in 1964 when he met Margaret who was still working for the Institute. A fine exhibition of Margaret's paintings was staged at the Museum of Modern art In São Paulo in 1964 with the title Flora Brasilica and attracted many VIPs. Her friendship with Lyman Smith continued and she visited Washington in April 1967. When Lyman Smith died thirty years later he was remembered with great respect as the Father of the Bromeliads.

The Bromeliads - with a jacket subtitle of 'Jewels of The Tropics', published by A.S.Barnes and Co Inc Cranbury New Jersey 08512 with Thomas Yoseloff Ltd, London Library of Congress Catalogue Card Number: 68-27221 Text by Lyman B. Smith Paintings by Margaret Mee



Guido Pabst , courtesy Varig Brasilian Airlines

Guido Joao Frederico Pabst was born in 1914 in Porto Alegre. Today it is a city of almost two milliion, a river port and the capital of the Brasilian State of Rio Grande do Sul. It is also the birthplace of Varig the leading Brasilian airline founded on 7th May 1927 as S.A. Empresa de Viação Aérea Rio Grandense. Pabst moved to Rio de Janeiro to become a executive director of the company and devote his private life to studying orchids. He died in Rio de Janeiro in 1980.
Covers of the two volumes [1] Coryanthes albertinae from the Rio Marauiá , Amazonas and [2]Rudolfiella aurantiaca , Rio Cuieiras, Amazonas

Pabst's output was phenomenal. He worked at the Varig offices near Santos Dumont airport from 8 in the morning to 6 at night and he spent the evenings studying in the Herbarium Bradeanum a private institution dedicated to botanical research, especially everything concerning the Brasilian flora. Pabst wrote about orchids and by the time he died he had published over 150 scientific papers, contributions and notes. His work began in the 1950's and focused largely on habitats in the southeastern states of Brasil where Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul have rich forests. He met Margaret through her involvement with the Jardim Botânico {Botanical Garden] in Rio de Janeiro and was able to help her with her own work with orchids and travel along Varig routes.

A major work. The culmination of his dedication to orchids is found seen in the two volumes of Orchidaceae Brasilienses he created in collaboration with Dr F. Dungs a fellow enthusiast. Their objective was to to present with illustrations a record all the known orchid species in Brasil. The main illustrations were contributed by Margaret Mee and another artist Samuel. Salvado. a remarkable Brasilian plant illustrator. Each volume is complete with a full bibliography and the text is in Portuguese, German and English..

Orchidaceae Brasilienses -published by Brucke - Verlag Kurt Schmersow - 32 Hildesheim - Postfach 347, Germany Text by G.F.J Pabst and F. Dungs . Illustrated with watercolours by Margaret Mee and S.Salvado. Pen and ink drawings by G.F.J Pabst and A.C.Brade. ISBN 3871050106 Dewey 584/.15/0981/ LCCN QK 495.064 P28



A large volume it measures 65.5 by 48.5 cms. Without slip case it weighs approximately 6.25 kilos. The design overall was by Greville Mee. John Warren provided three designs. The introduction was written by Richard Evans Schultes, Harvard University [USA] The preface was by Roberto Burle Marx and the botanical texts were written by Guido Pabst assisted by botanists from The Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC [USA], the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew [England] the New York Botanical Garden, [USA]. The translation of the text was by Guttorm Hansen and both Portuguese and English versions appear side by side throughout.

The book contains twenty four plates each the full size of the book and a large [half page] map of Amazonas with a key to where the plants were found.. All the plates are bled to the edge of each page and some were printed separately for sale as botanical prints. The paper is 200gsm wood free cartridge without an obvious watermark. The plates in the book are interleaved with transluscent paper and each faces a brief botanical and diary description.

The gilt embossed cover and spine in English and Portuguese

Life in Rio This enormous volume grew from Margaret's life in Rio de Janeiro. She had moved there from São Paulo with Greville Mee in August 1968 and had many friends in the tightly knit artistic and botanical society. In 1975 she was granted the Freedom of Rio de Janeiro [Honoraria Carioca] and she was awarded a small contract with EMBRATUR the Brasilian State Tourist Office to paint flowers of the Atlantic rainforest. Also in 1975 a new Director had taken charge at EMBRATUR. Fiftyfive year old Saïd Farhat was from Rio Branco, capital of the State of Acre, in far western Amazonia. Farhat had wide experience in public relations and advertising. He had worked in London in 1959 with a leading advertising company and later with J Walter Thompson in Brasil. In 1976 Saïd Farhat created an idea for a book of Margaret's paintings. It was to be a large, impressively presented collection for distribution throughout the world to have a place in Brasil's diplomatic and trade offices; it was to be given to visiting VIPs and in every way to be a credit to Brasil and the Amazon. Margaret agreed and the plan moved ahead in 1977. The book drew together many people: botanists, artists and the staff of EMBRATUR. Publication was set for 1979 though it was delayed slightly by local circumstances.

Honoured In November 1979 Margaret was honoured with the Cruzeiro do Sul [Brasil's highest award for foreigners]and the book was published in the following year. An exhibition of thirty paintings, some from Flowers of the Amazon was held at the Natural History Museum, South Kensington, London from October 1st to November 3rd 1980 to mark the launch in London. Margaret attended the opening and was welcomed by H.E The Brasilian Ambassador, Sr.Roberto Campos and his wife.


Flores do Amazonas - Flowers of the Amazon. Publisher: Distribuidora Record de Servicios da Imprensa S.A. Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, Colour separations by Rommerts' en van Santen /Van Leer b.v. 7 colour printing by Drukkerij de Lange/Van Leer b.v [The Netherlands]. Supported by EMBRATUR [Empresa Brasileira de Turismo] 1000 numbered copies were distributed. Binding : green cloth with gold embossed title on cover and spine. Each volume was presented in a slip case covered with green cloth.



Margaret Mee's Amazon 1987


The book began life as a project for television created in 1987 by Tony Morrison. It was given the working title Margaret Mee's Amazon and a folder explained the idea. The folder had a limited production and was distributed to producers and publishers. The title quickly became generic for exhibitions and publications. This project stemmed from Tony's many years of travel in South America and a meeting in Rio de Janeiro in 1970.

The original book of 1988 contains more original material than books with the generic title published after 1989.


The folder for Margaret Mee's Amazon was created with her help in 1987. The painting is Gustavia pulchra [1977] and the photo is courtesy Sally Oliver

The jacket of In Search of Flowers of the Amazon Forests, edited by Tony Morrison: Forward by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh,. K.G.K.T. The painting is Gustavia augusta 1977

Preparation Margaret Mee's Amazon was based on 'diaries' sometimes anecdotdal and sometimes very factually written by Margaret during her travels in Amazonia. Now kept at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, [England] the diaries convey a vivid impression but in 1987 when Tony Morrison first saw them he decided they needed editing. He concuded that some order or structure was required before they could be read or made into a film by anyone without a knowledge of the region or botany. Also any television film would demand a strong thread and ending. The Nonesuch Expeditions website offers several pages where the full story is revealed. Margaret had reduced her handwritten diaries to fourteen untitled chapters in typescript and had offered them to various well-known publishers. But she had no acceptance for the story.

The Edit Rio de Janeiro 9.30 AM Friday January 16th 1988. The work began at Margaret Mee's house in Santa Teresa and continued with long daily sessions until Sunday 28th February. Tony Morrison discussed each line with Margaret and recorded her comments on magnetic tape. Back in England the notes were added to the extracts Margaret Mee had drawn from her 'diaries', while relatives and friends were asked for reminiscences about her early life. But more importantly this was the time when the detailed planning was made for a search for the night flowering cactus Selenicereus wittii destined to be the core of the final chapter, Journey 15, The Moonflower

Summer in England 1988 - Production. - PCs [Personal Computers] were relatively new and expensive and many word processing programmes were still in their simplest versions. Margaret's 'diary' excerpts were transferred to an IBM PC AT fitted with a 20MB hard drive. Copies were kept on 5.5 inch 'floppy discs' and although slow by modern standards it was simple to add the notes taken at the editing sessions either on a PC in Rio de Janeiro or another in England. The rest of the story is history and will appear in the Margaret Mee Archive.

The television film project was put to one side while the book was edited. Steps were taken to create a Margaret Mee Amazon Trust with a Secretariat under the care of Dr.Simon Mayo a research botanist at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Preparations were made for the book launch in London and a short tour for Margaret Mee to cities in the eastern USA. An exhibition of Margaret Mee's Amazon was planned for the Autumn at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. [London]

The launch - Tony Morrison arranged with Dr.John Hemming C.M.G, then Director and Secretary of the Royal Geographical Society, and a longtime friend, for Margaret Mee to address the Society in London. The event was packed and became the official launch for the book. A similar address was arranged with the prestigious Anglo Brasilian Society [London] together with appearances on British television and the radio. At the same time Tony was in touch with Dr.Tom Lovejoy at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington and Flo Stone of Earthwatch with a view to promoting the cause of Amazonian survival. Margaret and her book would carry the message.

The USA tour -. Margaret left London for Philadelphia on 15th November for a series of presentations including one at the Garden Club of America in Philadelphia, another at The Smithsonian Institution, Washington, an address for BRASUS an NGO [ONG]and a lunch at the New York Botanical Garden. At the end of the tour she was welcomed on the New York PBS Television current affairs programme,The MacNeil Lehrer News Hour, and interviewed by Robert MacNeil. The programme was seen across America. She returned to London on November 23rd

'..quite simply one of the great nature books of the century....' The Sunday Times, London, [England]

This book exists in five printings and only the first with the identification "First published 1988" was printed before her death. The rear flap of the dust jacket has a photograph of Margaret Mee "Along the Amazon 1988" and a description of her life including the words "she lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil". In later printings the text on the dust jacket refers to her death. Also the black and white pencil sketches in the first printing are somewhat 'harsher contrast' than in later printings. The printers chose to change the process to introduce a better gradation from black to white in later printings. Only some of the first printing were signed by Margaret Mee. An unknown number of private gift copies may carry her signature. Others were signed at the launch events and for Hatchards Bookshop, Piccadilly, London [England] ipso facto none of the later printings carry her signature.

This is the only book of the Amazon Collection of paintings in their original state - some of the paper has age or damp marks or is even fly-spotted. This was their condition in mid -1988 before they were cleaned and restored at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England

In Search of Flowers of the Amazon Forests - Diaries of an English Artist - reveal the beauty of the vanishing rainforests. Based on the diaries of Margaret Mee Edited by Tony Morrison. Forward by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh KG., KT. Published by Nonesuch Expeditions Ltd, England November 1988. Printed by Antique Collectors Club, Woodbridge Suffolk, Colour separations by Chroma Graphics Singapore. ISBN 1 868901 08 8 The fifth printing (1989) and the Brasilian Portuguese edition of the same year were printed by Cowells Ltd, Ipswich, Suffolk and erroneously the publishing data was not changed


MARGARET MEE'S AMAZON 1988 - a catalogue

The Amazon Collection At the founding meeting of the Margaret Mee Amazon Trust in 1988 it was clear that support and publicity would be essential to raise the money needed to purchase the sixty paintings Margaret kept as her 'Amazon Collection'. ...Among the events planned for the launch of The Trust, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew [England] offered to host an exhibition and produce a special catalogue. The title Margaret Mee's Amazon came from the folder Tony Morrison produced for the Margaret Mee television production and book in 1987
The cover of the catalogue for Margaret Mee's Amazon and a mini poster advertising the exhibition at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew [ England]. The painting is Gustavia augusta of the Family Lecythidaceae / painting completed November 1985
Margaret Mee's Amazon was designed and produced by staff of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The text was written by Dr.Simon Mayo. Dr.Mayo who speaks fluent Portuguese has specialised in the flora of the caatinga, the of dry forests of northeastern Brasil and had known Margaret since the 1970s. On study trips to Brasil Simon had been a guest at her house in Rio de Janeiro. With an office in the Herbarium at Kew he was able to draw on a wide range of resources to ensure the accuracy of the work so was the ideal choice. Earlier in the year he checked the botanical information in the book In search Of Flowers of the Amazon Forests and swapped notes with Tony Morrison about Margaret's travels. After a meeting with Margaret in Brasil they became the prime movers for the creation of the Trust. Professor Ghillean T. Prance [now Sir Ghillean] who had spent many years in Brasil for research, wrote the Foreword. The cover painting is from the Lecythidaceae family of plants that includes the economically important Brazil nut tree.
Margaret Mee's Amazon Paintings of plants from Brazilian Amazonia by Margaret Mee Text by Simon Mayo Foreward by Professor G.T. Prance, publisher Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew ISBN 0 947643 13 3 ©Trustees, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew [England] Printed by MPS (London) Ltd, Watford, Herts


Margaret and her husband Greville attended the opening of the exhibition on 9th November. Six days later she left alone on a a short trip to the eastern USA to promote the book and campaign for the protection of the Amazon rainforest. Her expenses were covered largely by Nonesuch Expeditions and Earthwatch an NGO [ONG] in the USA . She returned to London on the 23rd November and decided to take a short break with Greville in his home town of Leicester. They travelled by bus from Victoria Coach Station in the heart of London. Late in the evening of Wednesday 30th November she was involved in a car/ automobile accident and died en route to hospital. The Press and TV coverage in Britain and America was non-stop. The burning of Amazonia was major news in 1988 and the forest was still smouldering after the burning season. With her untimely death the Margaret Mee legend was born.

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