meadowland deep in the Chiltern Hills.
Clare Leighton was one of the finest engravers of the
twentieth century. In the 1930s, when she settled in the
countryside with her long-term partner, the political
journalist Henry Noel Brailsford, she turned her
creativity to the land. Gardening became her passion.
Her obsession. She planted daffodil bulbs, crocuses, and
two new elms. She tended roses diligently but found
equal pleasure in her flowering leeks. She gathered
plums, loganberries, windfall apples and pears. By
observing the seasonal changes in the garden, she grew
familiar with its wildlife and character, forming a bond
which fed her work as an artist and contributed to the
happiest years of her life.
In Four Hedges Clare Leighton inhabits the shifting
atmospheres of the garden, recording in prose and
pictures her feelings for the life she nurtured. Composed
in twelve monthly chapters, the elegance and boldness
of her engravings is matched on every page by the
tenderness of her writing.