Shakespeare's Gardens

Shakespeare's Gardens by Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and Jackie Bennett

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Format: Hardback, 192 Pages
ISBN: 9780711237261
Publisher: Frances Lincoln
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$40.00 $32.00 / £25.00 £20.00

Shakespeare's Gardens is a highly illustrated, informative book about the gardens that William Shakespeare knew as a boy and tended as a man, published to coincide with the 400th anniversary of his death in April 2016. This anniversary will be the focus of literary celebration of the life and work throughout the English speaking world and beyond. 

The book will focus on the gardens that Shakespeare knew, including the five gardens in Stratford upon Avon in which he gardened and explored.  From his birthplace in Henley Street, to his childhood playground at Mary Arden’s Farm, to his courting days at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and his final home at New Place – where he created a garden to reflect his fame and wealth. Cared for by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, these gardens are continually evolving to reflect our ongoing knowledge of his life.

The book will also explore the plants that Shakespeare knew and wrote about: their use in his work and the meanings that his audiences would have picked up on – including mulberries, roses, daffodils, pansies, herbs and a host of other flowers. More than four centuries after the playwright lived, whenever we think of thyme, violets or roses, we are reminded of a line from his work.

Shakespeare’s Gardens brings together specially commissioned photography of the gardens with beautiful archive images of flowers, old herbals, and 16th century illustrations. It tells the story of Shakespeare’s journey – from glove maker’s son to national bard – and how he came to know so much about plants, flowers and gardens of the Elizabethan era.

ANDREW LAWSON is widely regarded as England's leading garden photographer. He has provided the photographs for many books, including Good Planting by Rosemary Verey, Penelope Hobhouse on Gardening, Designing Gardens (9780711217577) by Arabella Lennox Boyd, Little Sparta (9780711220850) by Jessie Sheeler, The Garden at Highgrove by HRH Prince of Wales, and The English Garden (9780711226388)by Ursula Buchan and The New English Garden (9780711232709) also by Tim Richardson. He holds the Royal Horticultural Society's Gold Medal for Photography and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Garden Writer's Guild. His garden in Oxfordshire is open under the National Gardens Scheme.

Jackie Bennett is a former editor of The Garden Design Journal, the English Garden Magazine and Gardening with the National Trust. She began her career in television, producing gardening and natural history programmes before become a full time writer. In 1990, she won an award for nature writing in the BBC Wildlife Magazine Awards and her books include The Wildlife Garden Month by Month (David & Charles 1990 – reissued in 2011), The Cottage Garden and Wild About the Garden (1997 a Channel 4 tie-in book for the TV series presented by Carol Klein).  She won the Garden Writer’s Guild Gardening Column of the Year 2009 for a series about her own Norfolk garden. Jackie has studied garden design and landscape history. She runs writing workshops for the Society of Garden Designers and for the Cambridge and Oxford Botanic Gardens.

'Jackie Bennett takes an interesting angle... A handsome book with wonderful photographs by Andrew Lawson'
'High quality photography and an attractive design make this a fine coffee table book - though it's much more than that! It's a celebration that's a bit different from all the other books, as as Will himself once wrote, 'Here's flowers for you'...'
'The best of coffee table books: as well as looking beautiful it’s a fascinating read...it’s part biography, part social history, part present-day gardening guide. As Will, fond of a horticultural reference, would have said: “Here’s flowers for you…” '

"This will find a wider audience than Shakespeare fans, just as titles such as Marta McDowell's Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life and Kim Wilson's In the Garden with Jane Austen appealed to readers interested in gardening history."

“brush up your understanding of Elizabethan plants and gardening in this beautifully illustrated tour of Shakespeare’s gardens”

"This will find a wider audience than Shakespeare fans, just as titles such as Marta McDowell’s ­Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life and Kim Wilson’s In the Garden with Jane Austen appealed to readers interested in gardening history." 

“a true celebration and exploration into a central part of [Shakespeare's] family life and private world”

“brush up your understanding of Elizabethan plants and gardening in this beautifully illustrated tour of Shakespeare’s gardens”

'the best of coffee table books: as well as looking beautiful it’s a fascinating read...it’s part biography, part social history, part present-day gardening guide. As Will, fond of a horticultural reference, would have said: “Here’s flowers for you…” ‘

“a true celebration and exploration into a central part of [Shakespeare's] family life and private world”

"This will find a wider audience than Shakespeare fans, just as titles such as Marta McDowell’s ­Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life and Kim Wilson’s In the Garden with Jane Austen appealed to readers interested in gardening history."