Paradise of Exiles: The Anglo-American Gardens of Florence

Posted on March 1st, 2012 by Charles Boot
May ’12
5:30 pm

GHSS AGM to be followed by
Paradise of Exiles: The Anglo-American Gardens of Florence
Lecture by Katie Campbell

5.30pm, Thursday 3 May (lecture 7.30pm)

The Garden History Society in Scotland’s AGM is at 5.30pm, at The Lecture Theatre, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, followed by light refreshments at 7pm. Members proposing to attend the AGM and who wish to receive the previous Minutes and Statement of Accounts for 2011 (available early April) should contact John Ellis

This lecture will be based on Katie Campbell’s recent book, Paradise of Exiles: The Anglo-American Gardens of Florence. 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 of dubious provenance, 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 preserving Italy’s cultural history, protecting 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: £5, non-members: £7.50; tickets on the door.

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