Women and Their Gardens

A History from the Elizabethan Era to Today
Women and Their Gardens: A History from the Elizabethan Era to Today. Ball Pub: Chicago Review, dist. by IPG. Apr. 2012. c.448p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781613743379. $26.95. GARDENING
This delightful and impeccably researched history claims a place on the crowded gardening shelf by interleaving the personal stories and accomplishments of individual women gardeners of Great Britain within the larger story of women's history told from a horticultural perspective. Horwood (honorary research fellow, Bedford Ctr. for the History of Women, Royal Holloway, London; Keeping Up Appearances: Fashion and Class Between the Wars) profiles such well-known female gardeners as Gertrude Jekyll, Vita Sackville-West, and Beth Chatto, as well as scores of unsung or forgotten women who have affected the way we garden through their contributions to design, illustration, research, and writing. Chapters are topically rather than chronologically arranged and weave together lively anecdotes that illustrate the thrill and passion inspired by a love of plants and gardening as well as the sobering facts of women's struggle to achieve equal footing with men in society, education, and the workplace, specifically as it manifests itself in the realm of gardening.
VERDICT Highly recommended to all armchair or actual gardeners interested in the history of gardening.
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