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Edwardian Country Life: The Story of H. Avray Tipping [Hardcover]

Helena Gerrish
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 35.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Sep 2011

Henry Avray Tipping (1855-1933) was a wealthy architectural historian and garden designer. As Architectural Editor of Country Life he made it essential reading for everyone interested in Britain's great country houses, their furnishings and their gardens.



Tipping restored a bishop's palace for himself and his mother, built one of the last important country houses in which to entertain the Edwardian great and good, and, after the First World War, commissioned his ideal 'cottage'. Always the garden came first; each was a perfect Edwardian idyll.



As a fine gardener herself, the author describes Tipping's own Monmouthshire gardens at Mathern Palace, Mounton House and her own High Glanau Manor, as well as gardens he designed for others, notably at Chequers and Dartington Hall. Tipping, who had no family of his own, was central to the lives and work of such distinguished garden designers as Robinson, Jekyll and Peto.


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Edwardian Country Life: The Story of H. Avray Tipping + The Arts and Crafts Country House: From the Archives of Country Life
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Frances Lincoln (1 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0711232237
  • ISBN-13: 978-0711232235
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 24.1 x 29.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,514 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Review

An excellent and richly illustrated book.

(BBC Gardens Illustrated)

A real treat. Often figures such as Tipping can be overlooked in the wider scheme of history, but the book focuses on a man with such a broad understanding of our architectural and horticultural place in the world, that it is worth a look.

(Lady)

Gives a brilliant picture of the homes and gardens he [Tipping] made and the mileu in which he moved.

(World of Interiors)

Helena Gerrish now lives at High Glanau; she has not only restored Tipping's fine garden and opened up its far-reaching views, but with this excellent and richly illustrated book has succeeded too in rescuing its talented maker from near obscurity.

(Garden)

If Tipping remains a private and rather enigmatic man, this superb book does his acheivements full justice. All who are interested in gardens will find it a delight to read and study.

(Welsh Historic Gardens Trust Bulletin)

Gerrish has revived both his memory and one of his gardens… It is a fine effort and I rally to her hero's principles of landscaping - "to retain the grace and feeling of the wild, while adding the eclectic beauty of the cultured". If the pull of the country catches you, remember Tipping's words.

(Robin Lane Fox Financial Times)

One pleasure of 2011 has been Helena Gerrish's 'Edwardian Country Life', the story of Henry Tipping garden designer, architectural historian, maker of three important gardens in Wales and a general bundle of gentlemanly Edwardian energy. It is good to read about the Arts and Crafts movelment in gardens without finding it to be undiluted Lutyens-and Jeykll, and Gerrish's generous array of illustrations helps to fill out our picture of Edwardian gardens as well as reminding us that garden making has never stopped at the River Severn.

(Times)

Well ordered, well written and superbly illustrated.

(Independent)

A fascinating account of this intriguing man.

(Good Book Guide)

Helena Gerrish has made it her business to rediscover this enigmatic man, his gardens, sketches and photographs; her book makes for fascinating reading.

(Professional Gardener)

Such a life looks a bit self-indulgent to say the least. But packaged up in this fine book, it leaves an invaluable legacy.

(Gloucestershire Gardens & Landscape Trust)

Has added much to our knowledge of the development of spacious gardens in the twentieth century.

(Devon Gardens Trust)

A lavishly illustrated book, which, as it revelas connections with so many influential figures in the early 20th century, provides an enjoyable glimpse of many familiar people and places.

(Cambria)

This elegantly written and sumptuously illustrated study of Henry Avray is a triumph.

(Apollo)

A remarkable biography of this understated genius... Packed with fascinating plans, paintings abd photos taking th read into a bygone world.

(Toparius)

About the Author

Helena Gerrish has immersed herself in a fruitful search for the story of her enigmatic predecessor at High Glanau and now gives talks, writes articles and throws open her beautifully restored garden to hundreds of visitors during the summer.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A tribute to Henry Avray Tipping 22 Sep 2011
Format:Hardcover
Helena Gerrish has written an excellent tribute to a now almost forgotten gardener and respected author of the late 19th and early 20th Century: Henry Avray Tipping. Tipping has left us his houses, gardens and writings as an objective testimony to his significance. Helena Gerrish owns and lives in one of his houses; High Glanau. She restored his garden and made a thorough study of his life and works. She describes in detail the life, writings and works of Tipping and his Country Life fraternity (a. o. Jekyll, Robinson and Peto) within the context of the period, her text is informative and well documented. Unfortunately the designer of this book could have done a better job as the layout of the selected pictures in black and white and colour, with a time span of about a hundred years, are not presented in a coherent manner. This gives the book a somewhat confused presentation when browsing through the pages. A better design and layout could have made all the difference. This book is however a valuable addition to the recent books on gardeners of the same period, such as Richard Bisgrove on William Robinson and Judith Tankard on Gertrude Jekyll. Recommended for all lovers of the English garden and its history. For an overview of gardens and gardening during this period David Ottewill's "The Edwardian Garden" is still the best study.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Biography of an almost unknown man 2 Feb 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Not only of interest because of the houses and gardens, but also of a way of life that has largely disappeared. The egalitarian age in which we now live seems not to produce these "great" amateurs.
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Man Behind the Scenes 19 Oct 2011
By Neville Clark - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The name of Henry Avray Tipping is not well known, even in Britain. In fact, before his death he instructed his gardener to burn all his personal papers so that his personal life would remain hidden. However, Helena Gerrish has successfullly researched his life and work and has made a strong case for Tipping's permanent significance in the history of garden design and in the shaping of public opinion. Tipping was well-educated and wealthy. After a stint at the Dictionary of National Biography, steeping himself in British history, Tipping became architectural editor of the newly founded Country Life magazine, playing a seminal role in turning it from a sporting journal into an arbiter of taste. His weekly articles on great country houses (which eventually became magnificent books) made people aware of the the riches of their country, and he was active in movements like the National Trust and the Royal Society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings which provided the means for such buildings to be protected and made available to the public. He designed three country houses for himself, all of them in Monmouthshire in South Wales, and he wrote about their building and the laying out of their extensive gardens. In time he was invited to advise on the creation of other great gardens such as that at Chequers, the Prime Minister's country home, and he was also an oustanding networker (long before the word was used), connecting other experts with wealthy patrons and encuraging the next generation of architects, designers and art historians, many of whom became much better known than he was.
In recent year's "heritage" has become big business, bringing millions of tourists to visit ancient houses and fine gardens. At the same time "country living" has become a favored style in decoration,funiture and even cooking. Helena Gerrish's book demonstrates how Tipping, more than any other individual, was the formative influence in the way we modern city dwellers think about the countryside. Frances Lincoln, the publishers, are famous for their beautifully illustrated books on architecture and gardens; this volume is also an important contibution to art history.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Story of H. Avray Tipping 7 Feb 2012
By Poppy J. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
As picture books go, this book does not disappoint the reader yearning for photos of the English countryside. Henry Avray Tipping lived for 1855 to 1933. He was a man who was best known as an academic, a writer and a collector. His hobby included visiting the great country houses in the UK and he wrote about his recorded notes in Country Life a magazine of the time. Tipping wrote extensively as an authority regarding houses, furniture, landscaping, and gardening. He also restored older homes, and bought several estates in Middlesex, Oxfordshire, and Monmothshire.

The book chronicles the contents of a diary which is a year in Tipping's life as an Edwardian gentleman. He was born in France to cultured parents and lived in chateaus during his childhood. His father was an educated man and he was encouraged to study architecture. He restored old village building for Parliament from the year 1868 to 1874. Tipping's mother, who was a Quaker, raised four sons with Henry being the youngest. After his other brothers died, he was the sole hear of his parent's estate. The book reviews his impression of his life and how he chose to influence others. He is seen as the type of man who today would be on the board of directors of major corporations, and in his time he was a member of many local and prominent society organizations. He worked to ensure that people were able to enjoy open air spaces and what we now call "green spaces" in communities around the UK.

The photos in the book are old and new, of gardens, beautiful landscapes, historical documents and some original sketches. Tipping worked to collaborate with others in his life which showed his business acumen and the results were seen in the makings of several great estates in the UK, with influence beyond to other countries many decades later.

The book is coffee table hardcover version of the life of Tipping and includes quotes, anecdotes and stories of his life. I especially enjoyed the full color photos of the gardens, landscaping and copies of personal letters of Tipping. His comprehensive work as a garden designer gained him recognition even after his death. His work at Country Life and his legacy in developing gardens was an influence over other architects, landscapers, and natural designers over time. The book has high quality pictures and is appropriate for any age reader interested in history of the region during the time of his life.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Passion for "Country Life" Inspires 23 Oct 2011
By Anne-Marie Bowen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Edwardian Country Life: The Story of H. Avray Tipping My sister is an avid gardener so I bought her a copy of Edwardian Country Life: The Story of H. Avray Tipping. I ended up reading it myself and fell in love with the beautiful illustrations. It was fascinating to learn of the man who embodies all things "country life." Helena Gerrish writes with a passion for her subject that inspires both novices and experts alike. For me, Edwardian Country Life makes a wonderful coffee table book with its glorious photographs of lovely English country homes and gardens, and for my sister, Gerrish has provided a rich source of matierials and a fine biography.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Edwardian Excellence 23 Feb 2013
By David L. Marcum - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
What a lucky woman is Helena Gerrish -- to live in a former Arts & Crafts home of one of the taste-makers of the Edwardian era. Despite the destruction of nearly all of H. Avray Tipping's personal papers, Ms. Gerrish has done a superb job of researching and fleshing out a fascinating portrait of this Edwardian great from remaining sources. Furthermore, she shares with us the story of her restoration of the house and gardens to their former high standards.

The book is part biography and part monograph. It is rich with illustrations and photographs. Ms. Gerrish's writing style flows pleasantly. You will gain an appreciation for Mr. Tipping's considerable contributions to and influence on the gardening movement of his time, and his place among his contemporary notables in architecture, landscaping, and the decorative arts.

This is a wonderful book for those interested in the Edwardian period in general, or in the taste in gardens and landscaping of the period in particular.
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