By: Kate Colquhoun
303 pages, Plates, drawings
At age twenty-three, Paxton became head gardener and architect at Chatsworth, the estate of the sixth Duke of Devonshire. Under Paxton's hands, Chatsworth was transformed into the greatest garden in England, a paradise of enormous and beautiful greenhouses, gravity-defying waterworks, and exotic botanical wonders. Paxton also edited standard-setting garden periodicals, helped found the London Daily News, and was a Liberal MP for Coventry. But it was his design for the Crystal Palace, home of the Great Exhibition of 1851, that secured his immortality. Applying what he had learned about constructing greenhouses to the problem of erecting a monumental but temporary public space, he created the architectural triumph of the era, a magnificent and unprecedented "fairy palace" of iron and glass.
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