English Gardens by Harry Roberts - 1944 Edition
Of late we have enjoyed something better than coloured garden catalogues. Books about gardens have not only multiplied; they have taken on a new form. They have become brief and lyrical rather than long and instructive; and their form in many ways has been oddly suggestive... (The London Observer Jan 4th, 1948)
This 20th-century review of Harry Robert's English Gardens went on to call him a poet as much as a gardener. Isn't that a lovely turn of phrase for someone who sets out to highlight the long history of English gardens in a short way?
Published in 1944, Harry's English Gardens is a slender account of the romance, thoughtfulness, and historical timing that surrounds the garden lover in England and all that he endeavors.
"I like to be my own gardener," he writes, "and I take an interest in my plants as individual living things, as well as bits of beautiful colour and form. I like to see a plant grow and develop, to study its distinctive features, and their causes, and to read about it and so learn what others have observed. A small, convenient, and healthy house, a large and well-situated garden, a good library, gradually accumulated, a small competency - and what more in the way of physical possessions can the contemplative man require?"
Illustrated with beautiful drawings and paintings ranging from the 14th century to the the 1940s, from words by Pliny the Elder in the first century A.D to Harry himself in 1944, this book is a lovely meandering through the joy of gardening and what it has meant to certain people and certain centuries.
To say more about it would ruin the experience for any reader, for any garden lover. Just trust us, as long-time book lovers and collectors of words, this is a beautiful book meant for getting lost in and then referred back to time and time again.
This book also contains a lovely nod towards the WWII era in which it was published... a Christmas gift inscription for Alice in 1944 marks the front inside cover written in fountain pen along with a small discreet bookseller's sticker for The Ken Bookshop on Victoria St clings to the bottom corner of the front endpaper.
- Published by William Collins of London, 1944
- 48 pages
- Illustrated throughout
- Decorated front coverboard
In well-loved vintage condition, the spine was falling off, so we repaired it with archival paper adorned with a floral pattern to preserve the overall integrity of the book. Having said that, all pages are intact and the spine is now tight and secure. All interior pages are clean and bright. There is a small bit of scuffing on the back and front coverboards all lending a gorgeous shabby chic patina to the already gorgeous aesthetic of the book. Please see photos.
Measures 9" inches (length) x 6.5" inches (width) x .25" inches (thickness) and weighs 7oz.