The English landscape garden of the eighteenth century was the one stylistic lead that continental Europe was eager to follow. Was it a case of natural evolution or a chain of polite but absolute revolutions? This book suggests a radical reappraisal of the great age of the English Arcadia (1620-1820), when an interaction of amateur and professional gardeners - the Gentlemen and Players - resulted in the gardens at Chiswick, Stowe, Castle Howard, Painshill, Stourhead and an astonishing host of lesser Edens, the 'Improvements'.

Gentlemen & Players traces the development of garden style through the owners who projected them and the gardeners who worked in them. There was an interchange of ideas, technologies and discoveries as theories were absorbed, popularised and then discarded, in a fascinating sequence of action and reaction. It was a mould-breaking, revolutionary period in garden history.

This 218pp book has 101 black-and-white photographs and 16 colour plates.

Sutton Publishing, 2004  Paperback £12.99

 

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