Life in the Garden
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Life in the Garden : A BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week 2017

4.11 (34 ratings by Goodreads)
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**A BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week 2017**'Rich and unusual, this is a book to treasure' Alex Preston, ObserverPenelope Lively has always been a keen gardener. This book is partly a memoir of her own life in gardens: the large garden at home in Cairo where she spent most of her childhood, her grandmother's garden in a sloping Somerset field, then two successive Oxfordshire gardens of her own, and the smaller urban garden in the North London home she lives in today. It is also a wise, engaging and far-ranging exploration of gardens in literature, from Paradise Lost to Alice in Wonderland, and of writers and their gardens, from Virginia Woolf to Philip Larkin.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 144 x 222 x 23mm | 334g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • Fig Tree
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0241319625
  • 9780241319628
  • 1,025

About Penelope Lively

Penelope Lively was born in Cairo, Egypt and spent her childhood there. She came to England at the age of twelve, in 1945, and went to boarding school in Sussex. She went on to read Modern History at St Anne's College, Oxford. In 1957 she married Jack Lively (who died in 1998). They had two children, Josephine and Adam. Jack Lively's academic career took the family from Swansea to Sussex and Oxford, and eventually to Warwick University, where he was Professor of Politics. Penelope Lively now has six grandchildren and lives in London.
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Review quote

Rich and unusual, this is a book to treasure. Few recent gardening books come anywhere close to its style, intelligence and depth. Moves between Lively's own horticultural life and a broad history of gardening * Alex Preston, Observer * Exquisite and original * Daily Telegraph * A gentle, scholarly progress through the lives and works of Penelope Lively's favoured authors - from Jane Austen to Beatrix Potter, Philip Larkin to Tom Stoppard * The Times * Wonderful. A manifesto of horticultural delight * Literary Review * Beautiful. Perfect for literary garden lovers * Good Housekeeping * Enchanting. Reading this book is like walking with a wise, humorous guide through a series of garden rooms . . . and finding that vistas suddenly open out, on to history, fashion, politics, reflections on time and the taming of nature * Tablet * A perfect bedside book. In part it's a memoir of the gardens in Lively's life, starting with the exotic Egyptian garden of her childhood and continuing up to her small present-day garden in a north London square * Sunday Express * A gentle survey of the garden's place in Western culture, which morphs into a personal meditation on time, memory and a life well lived * i * Scholarly bedtime reading * The Times, Books of the Year * Lively finds memories of her own gardens scrambling like roses through insights into the history of gardening and the artists - including Woolf, Monet and PG Wodehouse - who have been inspired by their gardens * Daily Mail * Delightful * Lady * Elegant, entertaining and inspirational * Woman & Home * It's always a joy to enter the world of one of our finest living authors, Penelope Lively. . . She will take you on a thought-provoking journey through Paradise Lost and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and give you fresh insights into writers and their gardens, from Virginia Woolf to Philip Larkin * Period Ideas * The perfect book for dedicated garden lovers * S Magazine *
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Rating details

34 ratings
4.11 out of 5 stars
5 38% (13)
4 38% (13)
3 21% (7)
2 3% (1)
1 0% (0)
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