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Paradise of Exiles: The Anglo-American Gardens of Florence

Out of Print

By: Katie Campbell

176 pages, 150 illus inc col photos

Frances Lincoln Ltd

Hardback | Jul 2009 | #182059 | ISBN-13: 9780711229563
Out of Print Details

About this book

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. These Anglo-Florentines injected new life into Tuscany's decrepit gardens, touring the countryside for inspiration and trawling old libraries for treatises and manuals. This book focuses on some of these characters adding a literary context alongside photographs and archive material.

Campbell's first sentence and a number of later ones contain the word 'intriguing', used in its comparatively recent sense of 'fascinating'. If I seek for one word to describe this book, then that is it. Hers is a witty, charming, informative and well-written study. But, above all, it is an intriguing one. Spectator I heartily recommend the account of the dotty goings-on in the expat community round Florence. It's pretty much the same today. This is an inspiring book. World of Interiors Scholarly as well as wonderfully entertaining, this is an unmissable book. BBC Gardens Illustrated A compelling portrait of the gardens and lives of this eclectic group. Sunday Telegraph Exceptionally well illustrated in the publisher's usual large format. The fancy-dress poses of Anglo-Florentine high society are especially telling, and George Elgood's fine Edwardian watercolours of the gardens evoke nostalgia for a golden age. Times Literary Supplement An entertaining book and a good introduction to a fascinating world! Few writers introduce us to this lively and eccentric community with such gusto. Mediterranean Garden Frances Lincoln is to be congratulated for adding this book to its list of inexpensive, fluently written and generously illustrated garden history books. Art Newspaper Underlines how much this Anglo-American community did to re-animate and re-interpret many of Italy's historic gardens. Irish Times The stories of the eccentric owners are entwined with those of their gardens in a vivid and wide-ranging account. Irish Garden It has wonderful photos and a very good historical text with an apt, witty touch about gardens of great expatriates in and around Florence in the late 19th century! An ideal present for anyone who has bolted to make a garden and a little stir abroad. Financial Times The topic of this book may sound like a niche preoccupation, but in the hands of a perceptive and amusing author it proves irresistible! Like its subject matter, this book is a delightful confection. Daily Telegraph Escapism is what gardeners want in the short, dark days of winter and Paradise of Exiles offers the perfect getaway! Scholarly as well as wonderfully entertaining, this is an unmissable book. Independent Christmas is luxury reading time. Katie Campbell's Paradise of Exiles is exactly that, with wonderful plates and text that makes me want to see the gardens for myself. Scotsman A particularly welcome fireside treat. Limited Edition, South Worcestershire & Cotswolds This is a highly readable book that will engage both the student and the admirer of the Italian garden alike, and shines a valuable spotlight on a little known era of the Italian garden. Garden Design Journal Altogether, a scrupulously researched, well-written and entertaining book. Garden Here's one for all you garden history enthusiasts! if you're looking for the story behind the gardens, a proper insight into their character and charm, then this book has all the details. Professional Gardener

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Katie Campbell is a journalist and fiction writer and she lectures at Birkbeck College, London, and Bristol University.

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