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The John Tradescants Gardeners to the Rose and Lily Queen by Prudence Leith-Ross

The John Tradescants Gardeners to the Rose and Lily Queen

RRP £14.95


The John Tradescants Gardeners to the Rose and Lily Queen by Prudence Leith-Ross

There are few more important figures in the early history of modern gardening than John Tradescant the elder (15701638) and his son (16081662). This is the definitive study of two remarkable men who travelled to new or little-known lands John the elder to Russia, the Near East and North Africa, John the Younger to the new colony of Virginia in search of botanical treasures. They worked for a series of eminent patrons including Robert Cecil, the Duke of Buckingham and Charles I, for whom they supervised the creation of some of the great gardens of the period. They were also responsible for introducing many new plants into Britain. Prudence Leith-Ross identifies those varieties which were first grown by the Tradescants or introduced to the country by one of them. Their botanical garden at South Lambeth became a centre of horticultural interest, and their collection of rarities, the Ark, which subsequently formed the basis of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, was the first public museum in the country. A unique feature of the book are the extensive appendices reproducing the complete texts of the Tradescants lists of plants of 162933, 1634 and 1656, as well as the Musaeum Tradescantianum, the younger Tradescants catalogue of the museum collection. Each plant is identified with its modern botanical name, making this an essential work for all those interested in the history of gardening and British plants.


An invaluable book . . . a thorough account of two fascinating lives. Sunday Telegraph Well researched and a pleasure to read. Times Literary Supplement Real value . . . well produced. Both the specialist and the general reader will gain an excellent idea of the background ethos of the period. Apollo Fascinating reading. Leith-Rosss exhaustive research, the reproduction of correspondence and the invaluable and comprehensive appendices ensure this book a permanent place in all gardening libraries. Lady Proper gardeners should grab this quirky treasure of a book. Tablet Prudence Leith-Ross has pruned some of the doubtful details and amassed what we know of the two men . . . A definitive work of reference. Robin Lane Fox, Financial Times Valuable. Nigel Nicholson, Guardian Absorbing . . . The authors research is admirable . . . Her book will give great pleasure. Spectator Both enlightening and entertaining. Popular Gardening Extremely well-researched and the tale is well-told. House and Garden An admirable book . . . All the known facts are here. Royal Horticultural Society

About the Author

Prudence Leith-Ross is a writer and gardener who has researched the life of the John Tradescants for many years.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st March 2005


Prudence Leith-Ross

More books by Prudence Leith-Ross
Author 'Like for Like'


Peter Owen Publishers


342 pages


Gardening: plants
History: specific events & topics



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