Here, captured in some top class black and white photography, is the world of L.P. Hatrley's excellent novel "The go-between." Whilst I must admit to knowing nothing about gardening, there is something very sad about the photogtaphs of these gardens that either no longer exist or have been greatly reduced in size that makes this book so compelling. Most of the pictures date from the turn of the last century, although there are a handful from as late as the 1930's. The pictures in this lavish book evoke another world that was lost in the years after the First World War when it no longer became economical to employ an army of gardeners. Not since The Black Death had the fortunes of the ruling classes been so affected. Some of the gardens are now either hotels or parts of colleges. Many have gone forever, such as Drakelowe Hall in Derbyshire that became a power station. This is by no means the most tragic story. As one would expect from Country Life, the quality of the images is truly amazing - some of the earliest having a misty quality about them that adds to the sense of melancholia. The fact that these pictures are not in colour only makes them more intriguing. Where there are people in the photographs, this makes the gardens look even more remote from our time. How could people actually afford to live in these houses ? In conclusion, this is a wonderful book and one that I shall no doubt keep returning to. There isn't one garden in this book of which I am not envious !!