Paradise of Exiles

Paradise of Exiles by Katie Campbell

The Anglo-American Gardens of Florence

Format: Hardback, 176 Pages
ISBN: 9780711229563
Publisher: Frances Lincoln
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In the final years of the nineteenth century the crumbling villas abandoned on the hills above Florence proved irresistible to an eccentric colony of English and American expatriates.



After a brilliant introduction this entertaining book features some twenty of these characters, among them Bernard Berenson at I Tatti; the 'cad' Sir Arthur Acton and his fabulously wealthy wife at La Pietra; the bereaved philosopher Charles Strong whose Rockefeller in-laws financed his villa retreat; the cross-dressing English essayist Violet Paget - known to the world as Vernon Lee; the beautiful Serbian Princess Jeanne Ghika who lived in seclusion with her American companion Miss Blood; the eccentric English romance writer known as Ouida; the much-married American heiress Mabel Dodge Luhan and the misanthropic aristocrat Sir Gerge Sitwell.



Art and history formed the main interests of the community with horticulture a close second. The Anglo-Florentines injected new life into Tuscany's decrepit gardens, touring the countryside for inspiration and trawling old libraries for treatises and manuals. Some preferred an anglicised version and smothered their walls with scented climbers, replaced gravel terraces with emerald lawns and stuffed box parterres with bright bedding plants and their orchards with exotic shrubs.



Literary reference abounds throughout this book with Henry James leading the way, but it is the old guide books - Elgood's Italian Gardens, Latham's The Gardens of Italy and books like Georgina Graham's My Tuscan Villa which provide so much evocative material.

KATIE CAMPBELL was a journalist and fiction writer before turning to garden history. She lectures widely, has taught on postgraduate and undergraduate courses at Birkbeck, Bristol and Buckingham Universities; she also writes for various publications and leads garden tours. Her most recent, book, Paradise of Exiles, explores the eccentric community of English and American expatriates in late nineteenth century Florence. Earlier garden books include Icons of Twentieth Century Landscape Design, and Policies and Pleasances, A Guide to Scotland’s Gardens.

Format: Hardback, 176 Pages
ISBN: 9780711229563
Illustrations: 150 illustrations, including new colour photographs and archive material
Size: 9.055 in x 11.299 in / 230 mm x 287 mm
Published: