My Darling Heriott

My Darling Heriott : Henrietta Luxborough, Poetic Gardener and Irrepressible Exile

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This work talks about the the life and times of Henrietta Luxborough, eighteenth-century aristocrat, gardener and society exile. Henrietta St John was born on St Swithun's Day in 1699 into a world of wealth, privilege and seeming security. Beloved sister of rake and statesman, Viscount Bolingbroke, she grew up in Hogarthian London and Wiltshire, her ancestral home, into a headstrong woman of poetry and letters- Pope, Swift and Gay were amongst her acquaintance. Yet with more wit and intelligence than was good for a high-ranking woman of her time and a wild mane of dark curly hair, Henrietta was not the easiest of marriage propositions. She succumbed at twenty-seven, with her infatuation for the son of the infamous and exiled South Sea Company chief cashier. Soon afterwards, she was accused by her pompous husband of infidelity with a young poet, and sent into the country to moulder and die. In refusing to fulfill these cruel expectations Henrietta created for herself, and for us, an eccentric and enchanting company of friends from the understorey of mid-eighteenth century society.
Her circle - they liked to set their wooden chairs in a circle in the garden, sip port and gossip on warm, moonlit nights - was a lively collage of characters far removed from the Court and the City, and yet occasionally touched by great events. It was Henrietta's gardens, however, that most sustained her sanity and that now shape Jane Brown's lively biography. Through evocative descriptions of the gardens and houses her heroine inhabited, Jane Brown reconstructs Henrietta's remarkable and tumultuous life, and reveals an intricate portrait of early eighteenth-century English culture and society.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 154 x 234 x 32mm | 458.13g
  • HarperPress
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 8 b/w, 8 col plates (16pp), With index
  • 0007235704
  • 9780007235704

Review quote

Praise for 'Tales of the Rose Tree': 'A superbly researched and narrated celebration ! Jane Brown has done the species and her readers a service in reminding us of its fabulous history.' Literary Review Praise for 'The Pursuit of Paradise': 'A genuinely important contribution, not just to understanding gardens of the past, but to how we might get the most pleasure from the gardens of the future.' Monty Don, Observer 'If you want to be impressively well-informed about why every self-respecting home must have a patio, or why delphiniums, gladioli and larkspur are distinctly passe, then latch on to this illuminating book.' Penelope Lively, Mail on Sunday 'Be warned. This is a rich brew, not to be taken in one gulp. Gardening in this book encompasses science and history, philosophy and art, literature and the military, politics and sex! It is all tremendous fun.' Ruth Gorb, Guardian
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About Jane Brown

Jane Brown is the author of 'Gardens of a Golden Afternoon', 'Eminent Gardens', a biography of Lutyens, 'The Pursuit of Paradise: A Social History of Gardens and Gardening' and 'Tales of the Rose Tree'.
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Rating details

5 ratings
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3 80% (4)
2 20% (1)
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