Paradise of Exiles: the Anglo-American Gardens of Florence

Posted on March 7th, 2011 by Charles Boot
Dec ’11
7:00 pm

Paradise of Exiles:
the Anglo-American Gardens of Florence

Lecture by Katie Campbell

with The Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh at the Lecture Theatre, Royal Botanical Garden of Edinburgh, 20 Inverleith Row

7pm for 7.30pm, Thursday 8 December

Sadly we had to cancel Katie Campbell’s talk last year because of snow. However, we are delighted that it has turned out to be not so much a cancellation as a postponement and her talk is rescheduled for the above date.

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 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.

£3 for members. £5 for non-members. Bookings can be made by phoning the RBGE Membership Office on 0131 552 5339 followed by payment on the night. Tickets will also be available on the door.

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