Gardens and Gardening in Early Modern England and Wales Jill Francis

Publication date:
26 Jun 2018
Paul Mellon Centre
412 pages: 254 x 190mm
177 color + b-w illus.
Sales territories:

The extravagant gardens of the 16th- and 17th-century British aristocracy are well-documented and celebrated, but the more modest gardens of the rural county gentry have rarely been examined. Jill Francis presents new, never-before published material as well as fresh interpretations of previously examined sources to reveal gardening as a practical activity in which a broad spectrum of society was engaged – from the laborers who dug, manured, and weeded, to the gentleman owners who sought to create gardens that both exemplified their personal tastes and displayed their wealth and status. Enhanced by beautiful and compelling illustrations, this book contributes to a broader understanding of early modern society and its culture by situating the activity of gardening within the wider social and cultural concerns of the age, reflecting the anxieties, hopes, and aspirations of people at the time.

Jill Francis is an independent scholar who teaches history at the University of Birmingham and the University of Worcester.

“sumptuously produced” – John Carey, The Sunday Times

“Handsomely designed, generously illustrated and packed full of information and detail.” – Lisa Hopkins, Times Higher Education Supplement

“Francis has gathered together an impressive body of information, some of it previously unexplored” —Margaret Willes, Times Literary Supplement

“This is a serious book on early- modern society, but we are drawn in by the personal nature of the evidence: the gardeners’ loves, extravagances, and preoccupations.”— Jamie Cable, Church Times

“Francis introduces some very interesting new material”—Paula Henderson, Garden History

“The book offers much detailed analysis and also demonstrates the diversity of gardens during this period.”— John Edmondson, Welsh Historic Gardens Trust Bulletin

Long listed for the Historians of British Art Book Prize

Listed on Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles List for 2019