GHSS Winter Lectures 2010, Edinburgh

Posted on March 18th, 2010 by Charles Boot
Dec ’10
7:00 pm

Paradise of Exiles:
the Anglo-American Gardens of Florence

Katie Campbell

The Lecture Theatre, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

7pm for 7.30pm, Thursday 9 December

Please note change of speaker and cost reduction.

Katie Campbell wrote fiction and journalism before turning to academia; she now lectures on Bristol University’s post-graduate garden history programme, leads garden tours and writes for various publications. Her books include Icons of Twentieth Century Landscape Design and Policies and Pleasaunces: A Guide to Scotland’s Gardens. This lecture will be based on her most recent book, Paradise of Exiles : The Anglo-American Gardens of Florence, described by Anna Pavord as ‘Scholarly as well as wonderfully entertaining, this is an unmissable book’ Gardens Illustrated.

Combining social history with horticulture Campbell explores the eccentric community of English and American expatriates which gathered in Florence at the end of the nineteenth century. As the city around them modernised they gravitated to the hill towns transforming neglected estates into Renaissance-style villas, dealing in art acquired from bankrupt aristocrats, recording local customs and writing endlessly about themselves, each other and great figures of the past. Despite their charmed lives these Anglo-Florentines played a crucial role in Italy’s cultural history, preserving important villas, restoring ancient landscapes and creating some of the country’s best loved gardens. More importantly they researched and recovered horticultural traditions at a time when these were in danger of being lost forever.

Cost: Members £5, Non-members £7.50. Payment at the door or by prior booking directly with the RBGE. Full details are given in the GHSS summer news sheet.

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