New Book | Stourhead: Henry Hoare’s Paradise Revisited

Posted in books by Editor on August 22, 2022

Published by Head of Zeus and distributed by IPG:

Dudley Dodd with an introduction by James Stourton and photographs by Marianne Majerus, Stourhead: Henry Hoare’s Paradise Revisited (London: Apollo, 2021), 320 pages, ISBN: ‎ 978-1788543620, £40 / $65.

An illustrated history of the landscape garden at Stourhead, created by generations of the Hoare banking dynasty.

Cross the south lawn at Stourhead and enter the leafy embrace of the Shades. Descend through the ancient and rare trees, and as the ground falls away a great lake appears. It is punctuated with classical temples, and a great arched bridge lunges to the other side of the water. Continue on and you will find a mystical, jagged grotto; a gothic hideaway; gods, muses and saints. This is how Henry Hoare—known as Henry the Magnificent—would have approached the garden he designed with Henry Flitcroft. It truly is an English arcadia. Perhaps he imagined himself as a journeying Aeneas, or wished to recreate a Claude Lorrain landscape? This is the history of a unique landscape, created in a misty Wiltshire valley by generations of the Hoare banking family. It follows its evolution, describing how flights of folly, individual flair and tastes, combined with careful stewardship, have formed a national treasure and one of the finest examples of the English landscape garden.

Dudley Dodd had a long career with the National Trust, where he was Secretary of the Arts Panel, and has published widely on Stourhead, whose first modern guidebook he wrote in 1981, as well as guidebooks to several other National Trust houses. He is co-author of Roman Splendour, English Arcadia: The Pope’s Cabinet at Stourhead.

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