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9781101871034

England's Magnificent Gardens How a Billion-Dollar Industry Transformed a Nation, from Charles II to Today

  • ISBN 13:

    9781101871034

  • ISBN 10:

    1101871032

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 05/25/2021
  • Publisher: Pantheon

Note: Not guaranteed to come with supplemental materials (access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.)

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Summary

An altogether different kind of book on English gardens--the first of its kind--a look at the history of England's magnificent gardens as a history of Britain itself, from the 17th century gardens of Charles II to those of Prince Charles' today; how gardens transformed England; what they cost in their time and the billion dollar industry they created.

"One of the most important books on garden history in the last half century--and for anyone serious about the subject, Floud's book is a must buy."--Historic Gardens

In this rich, revelatory history, Sir Roderick Floud, one of Britain's pre-eminent economic historians, writes that gardens have been created in Britain since Roman times, but their true growth began in the 17th century and by the 18th century, nurseries in London were 100 acres with ten million (!) plants, worth more than all of the nurseries in France combined.

Floud's book takes us through more than three centuries of English history as he writes of the kings, queens and princes whose garden obsession, changed the landscape of England itself, through Stuart, Georgian, and Victorian England up through today's Windsors.

We see the designers of royal estates--among them, Henry Wise, William Kent, Humphrey Repton and England's greatest of all gardeners, "Capability" Brown, who created the 150 acre lake of Blenheim Palace (it took six years to excavate and two years to fill with water) who earned millions annually, and who designed more than 170 parks, many still in existence today.

And we see how gardening became a major catalyst for innovation (central heating came from experiments to heat greenhouses with hot-water pipes); how the new iron industry of industrializing Britain, supplied a myriad of tools (mowers, pumps and the boilers that heated the greenhouses); how gardens came to influence architecture (the Crystal Palace) and finally, Floud explores how gardening became a billion dollar industry as well as an art form and by the 19th century, was unrivalled anywhere in the world.

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