LONDON HAS A GARDEN. Hardcover – 1974
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Physical description; 211 p. : ill., maps ; 22 cm. Notes; Bibliography: p. 207-211. Subject; Covent Garden (London, England).
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Born in London in 1888 as Winifred Ashton,she studied art at the Slade School and in Dresden, Germany. As a young woman [1913-1918]she appered on the stage under the name Diana Cortis. Her pen name is taken from St. Clement Dane church, near Covent Garden.
She was a witty woman, and a dear friend of Noel Coward. A quote attributed to her: "It's the things I might have said that fester".
A prolific writer, she wrote novels, plays, screenplays, drays for the BBC, essays. She was awarded the CBE in 1953. She wasn't afraid of controversial topics: her first novel, "Regiment of Women" in 1917, dealet with lesbianism in a girls' school.
"London has a Garden", published in 1964, is both a history and a memoir. Around the time of World War II, she lived in Covent Garden. This book relates both her life there, and also includes a history of Covent Garden, its origins, markets, and neighborhood. All of that has disappeared, now that the flower and vegetable market is gone, and the remaining structures have been turned into trendy shops and restaurants. It is a delight to be able to recreate, in one's mind, that milieu through the pages of this book.