American Rose Magazine 6(6): 204-206 (May-June 1945)
The Romance of Duquesa or an Hour with Modern Roses II
Claude T. Barnes,
Salt Lake City, Utah
Since my favorite rose is Duquesa de Penaranda, I have often wondered what could be the ancestry and romantic history of a maiden so fair. An hour's research has brought it to light—a story that takes us to Persia, France, and at last to the tranquil gardens of sunny Spain.
First, her paternal lineage: Over a hundred years ago, in 1837 to be exact, one Sir Henry Willock brought her great-great-grandmother, Persian Yellow, to England from Persia, where the proud lady was known on the wild lands as Rosa foetida var. persiana. She was getting on in years when in 1900 at Venissieux-les-Lyon, Rhone, France, she met Antoine Ducher, married him, and strange to relate, gave birth to a most worthy son named Soleil d'Or. I say "worthy" son, for not only did he have locks of ruddy gold but also he became the very head of the Pernetiana family.
Soleil d'Or continued to live on the shores of the green-watered Rhone, when one day in 1910 he fell in love with a demure lady by the name of Mme. Melanie Soupert and took her as his bride. They had one child whom they called Rayon d'Or, whose hair was as yellow as cadmium.
One day in 1915, Rayon caught sight of an unknown maiden in the bloom of youth whom he saw sitting near the Rhone. He took her to be his wife, and soon to them goldenhaired Constance was born. Like her father before her, Constance lived on the banks of the Rhone, and married a complete stranger, indeed one without a name. This took place in 1920; but soon they had a flaxenhaired child whom they called Souv. de Claudius Pernet, with the color of the sunflower; and it is this goldenfaced child who is the father of Duquesa de Penaranda.
These we might call the paternal ancestors with the flaxen hair, but what of Duquesa's maternal folk? Of them we must inquire.
Some of us hesitate to go too far back into our family genealogy, lest it be discovered that a few of our progenitors were deservedly hung; and that oddly enough is the case with Duquesa's maternal lineage, which is so short as to arouse suspicion, to say the least. At any rate, in 1890 in Lyon, France, one Roger Lambelin was born of unknown parentage, but a kindly widow named Schwartz gave the red-faced baby refuge in her garden. Very soon he manifested white streaks on his face, and his hair appeared like the fringe of a carnation.
Twenty-three years after Roger saw the light of day, a coral-cheeked maiden was born at Venissieux-les-Lyon, Rhone, France, and like him she had unknown parentage. Kindly J. Pernet-Ducher, however, gave her a home in his extensive gardens and gave her the name Mme. Edouard Herriot. In fact, she blushed with such bright rosy scarlet and appeared so sweet in her gown of bronzy, glossy green that he was able to win a prize with her. She received the prize as the "Daily Mail Rose," the London equivalent of "Miss America."
Naturally a maid of such wide acclaim should travel, and she did, to the sun-kissed hills of Spain. There in Barcelona in 1931 she was introduced to gay Roger Lambelin; and they were wed.
From a couple so outstanding all observers expected a child of great beauty. They were not disappointed, for to them was born Rosella, a maiden with a face of velvety carmine, and one who in her later years delighted in yellow collars and orange frills. That sweet Rosella was the mother of our Duquesa de Penaranda.
Somehow Rosella and Souv. de Claudius Pernet in 1931 happened also to be traveling in Spain, for they met in the romantic garden of Pedro Dot in Barcelona, and they had an elaborate wedding there. Their child is our fair Duquesa de Penaranda, who has on her cheeks tints of the oranges of sunny Spain. Thus ends the fascinating story of Duquesa, Queen of the Kingdom of the lovely Rose.