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A Little History Of British Gardening Paperback – 5 May 2005

4.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Pimlico; Reprint - edition (5 May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0712664947
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712664943
  • Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 2.7 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 45,509 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Uglow's account of a national obsession is a delight from beginning to end" (The Observer)

"This book will be a joy for any gardener" (Christopher Hirst The Independent)

"The biographer of Gaskell and Hogarth now takes us into the garden, where plants glow and miniature landscapes unfold at the touch of her easy prose" (Nicholas Bagnall Sunday Telegraph)

"Enchanting, stirringly evocative and fascinating" (Daily Mail)

"Elegant history...It is beautifully written and lets you see your own humble plot in its historical and geographical context" (Toby Clements Daily Telegraph)

Book Description

A romp through British gardening from the stone-age to today. Thoroughly engaging, immensely successful, beautifully packaged.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you have not read any histories of gardening before, you will no doubt enjoy this book. However, I was expecting more from a historian of Jenny Uglow's experience and stature. Although entitled "A Little History of British Gardening", it is a full-sized book of 342 pages (I doubt anyone will, as recommended on the inside sleeve, be putting it in their pocket when planning a day out), with copious illustrations and the full complememnt of index, footnotes and notes on illustrations at the back. The problem is that the author covers again the same ground covered by every other history of gardening, with precious little which is new. The treatment is lightweight, with frivolous chapter titles like "Did the Romans have rakes?", and far, far too many platitudinous sentences like "Yet a garden could be a retreat from strife, as well as a symbol of struggle". Some passages smack of hurried editing - the reader is surprised to see a historian producing the Irishman St Fiacre and the Welshman St Teilo as type examples of Anglo Saxon activity, and there are other statements I'd like to check further.

If that was all there was to it, this book wouldn't have kept me reading. Where Jenny Uglow is strong is in citing lots of sources; the major ones, however, are the same as appear in any number of other books on the subject. Using garden writers as sources can be misleading. William Robinson, though a powerful self-publicist, was never as influential as he would have liked people to think, and Sissinghurst is as famous as it is because it was unlike most gardens, not because it was typical.
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Format: Paperback
An informative and consistently readable book, which covers all the main developments in the history of gardening in the UK. A good "beginners" guide, well written and entertaining; the author's personal fascination with her subject comes across very well. Likely to whet the reader's appetite to explore the history of gardening further; there is a very good bibliography which will point the reader to other, more detailed studies of particular periods or gardening personalities. Deserves to become a staple of the garden history bookshelf, it seems to be almost permanently "out on loan" from my local library, which is a recommendation in itself.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read other books by this author and really enjoyed them all. So when I saw this title available, it became a 'must have' for my collection. If you are interested in the history of gardening, from ancient times through to contemporary, then this is for you.The book is beautifully illustrated throughout and Jenny Uglow's own personal love of plants comes across very strongly.Interesting chapters, for example, 'Did the Romans have rakes?'Aelfric's list', 'Monastic lore', cover little known eras, while the chapters on gardening between the wars and Victoriana are presented in a new and refreshing way.There is a chapter on Modernism and art and wildflowers and beautiful gardens to visit. In short, there is something here for everybody, and everybody with an interest in plants/gardens will love this book, even if you don't have a garden at the moment. Lovely book for either a warm summer evening outside or a dark winter evening by the fireside. Highly recommended.
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By A Customer on 7 Oct. 2005
Format: Paperback
Informative and entertaining. Even my gardening-mad mother could not put it down. A must buy.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So well written, I havent finished it yet, but am thoroughly enjoying it. I can recommend it to anybody who has or has had a garden or a curiosity about them.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book arrived looking well thumbed,with a couple of small tears at the edges of the first two pages,but for the price which I paid, I expected a few cosmetic flaws,and the book itself is a readeable introduction to the history of British gardening,which isn't dry,has some illustrations,and is easy to dip in and out of,according to the reader's needs.
The book arrived quickly,and I would certainly have no problem with using the service. again.
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Format: Paperback
Jenny Uglow's "A Little History of British Gardening" contains a wealth of information on garden history from Roman time,s without being boring or elitist in any way. This is an interesting read for everyone who likes gardens, whether they just look at them or actually make them happen. Everything is explained well and the illustrations are exceelent. The only complaint I have is that it was too short.
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