New Book | The Secret Life of the Georgian Garden

Posted in books by Caitlin Smits on March 13, 2016

Forthcoming from I. B. Tauris:

Kate Felus, with a foreword by Roy Strong, The Secret Life of the Georgian Garden: Beautiful Objects and Agreeable Retreats (London: I. B. Tauris, 2016), 240 pages, ISBN: 978-1784535728, $28 / £18. 

51lNEQdkFEL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Georgian landscape gardens are among the most visited and enjoyed of the UK’s historical treasures. The Georgian garden has also been hailed as the greatest British contribution to European Art, seen as a beautiful composition created from grass, trees and water—a landscape for contemplation. But scratch below the surface and history reveals these gardens were a lot less serene and, in places, a great deal more scandalous. Beautifully illustrated in colour and black and white, this book is about the daily life of the Georgian garden. It reveals its previously untold secrets from early morning rides through to evening amorous liaisons. It explains how by the eighteenth century there was a desire to escape the busy country house where privacy was at a premium and how these gardens evolved aesthetically, with modestly-sized, far-flung temples and other eye-catchers, to cater for escape and solitude as well as food, drink, music and fireworks. Its publication coincides with the 2016 tercentenary of the birth of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, arguably Britain’s greatest ever landscape gardener, and the book is uniquely positioned to put Brown’s work into its social context.

Kate Felus is a garden historian and historic landscape consultant. She researches designed landscapes of all periods, specializing particularly in eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century parks and gardens.


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