III 2920-2980 (SR 1320-1380)
father: Gorbadoc Brandybuck, Master of Buckland
mother: Mirabella Took
Rorimac, Master of Buckland
Primula Baggins was born as Primula Brandybuck, daughter of Gorbadoc Brandybuck, Master of Buckland, and Mirabella Took; she is the mother of Frodo Baggins, the first cousin of Bilbo Baggins, the grandaunt of Meriadoc Brandybuck, and the first cousin twice removed of Peregrin Took:
'But what about this Frodo that lives with [Mr. Bilbo]?' asked Old Noakes of Bywater. 'Baggins is his name, but he's more than half a Brandybuck, they say. It beats me why any Baggins of Hobbiton should go looking for a wife away there in Buckland, where folks are so queer.'....
'You're right...!' said the Gaffer. '... [They're] a queer breed, seemingly. They fool about with boats on that big river — and that isn't natural. Small wonder that trouble came of it, I say. But be that as it may, Mr. Frodo is as nice a young hobbit as you could wish to meet. Very much like Mr. Bilbo, and in more than looks. After all his father was a Baggins. A decent respectable hobbit was Mr. Drogo Baggins; there was never much to tell of him, till he was drownded.'
'Drownded?' said several voices.... 'Well, so they say,' said the Gaffer. 'You see: Mr. Drogo, he married poor Miss Primula Brandybuck. She was our Mr. Bilbo's first cousin on the mother's side (her mother being the youngest of the Old Took's daughters); and Mr. Drogo was his second cousin.... And Mr. Drogo was staying at Brandy Hall with his father-in-law, old Master Gorbadoc, as he often did after his marriage (him being partial to his vittles, and old Gorbadoc keeping a mighty generous table); and he went out boating on the Brandywine River; and he and his wife were drownded, and poor Mr. Frodo only a child and all.'
'I've heard they went on the water after dinner in the moonlight,' said Old Noakes; 'and it was Drogo's weight as sunk the boat.'
'And I heard she pushed him in, and he pulled her in after him,' said Sandyman, the Hobbiton miller.
'You shouldn't listen to all you hear, Sandyman,' said the Gaffer.... 'There isn't no call to go talking of pushing and pulling. Boats are quite tricky enough for those that sit still without looking further for the cause of trouble. Anyway: there was this Mr. Frodo left an orphan and stranded, as you might say, among those queer Bucklanders, being brought up anyhow in Brandy Hall.'
The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 1, A Long-expected Party
1 Primula is one of the many flower-names used by Tolkien for female hobbits:
It's obvious that Tolkien, like Bilbo, loved flowers, and it seems he wished to portray the spirit of Shire women through that sweet, occasionally thorny, timeless imagery....
The Plants of Middle-earth: Botany and Sub-creation, by Dinah Hazell, Ch 1, Hobbit Names
Shakespeare's many plays, one can find references to approximately forty species of flowers. The primrose seems to find much favor with Shakespeare as he refers to this delicate flower in several of his plays. But, apart from the pleasure Shakespeare clearly took in including the primrose in his works, what do we know about them?
There are some 600 species in the family Primula native to the Himalayas and the cool regions of Southeast Asia, Europe and North America, but the name "primrose" is reserved for P. vulgaris and P. polyantha, the "English primrose." These plants form a loose rosette of leaves and, at bloom time, typically the English primroses produce flowers on strong fleshy stems and bear clusters of yellow, cream, purple, rose, or brownish, often fragrant, flowers. During spring a flower stalk will grow from four to nine inches high, bearing five to twelve-flowered umbel of yellow, funnel-shaped flowers. P. vulgaris is the true primrose of the English woodlands and in some old books called an auricula. It is a perennial plant common in Great Britain and Europe, found in dry meadows, lightly wooded areas, under bushes, hedges, and along the forest edge.
The Primrose Path, by Myriam Hu
Subrosa, Number 41, March-April 2005. Accessed 14 May 2010.
"Primula vulgaris". Wikipedia. 16 May 2010.
Primrose, first-born child of Ver,
Merry Springtime's harbinger.
The Two Noble Kinsmen, by William Shakespeare and John Fletcher, Act 1, Scene 1
It was Shakespeare who coined the phrase, "primrose path." His intent was to put a label on a way of life devoted to irresponsible hedonism, and a course of action that is easy or tempting, but hazardous.
The Primrose Path, by Myriam Hu
Subrosa, Number 41, March-April 2005
Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,
Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven,
Whilst, like a puff’d and reckless libertine,
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads,
And recks not his own rede.
Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, Act 1, Scene 3
Elena Tiriel 22Sep07, 15May10