books of the month likeyoulove
Search our site
Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber Read the opening extract of the brand new Kathleen Barber book before its publication on 27/12/2017

Flora's Empire British Gardens in India by Eugenia W. Herbert
  

Flora's Empire British Gardens in India

Part of the Penn Studies in Landscape Architecture Series
Notify me
when in stock

As soon as this book is back in stock we will send you an email.

Synopsis

Flora's Empire British Gardens in India by Eugenia W. Herbert

Like their penchant for clubs, cricket, and hunting, the planting of English gardens by the British in India reflected an understandable need on the part of expatriates to replicate home as much as possible in an alien environment. In Flora's Empire, Eugenia W. Herbert argues that more than simple nostalgia or homesickness lay at the root of this garden imperialism, however. Drawing on a wealth of period illustrations and personal accounts, many of them little known, she traces the significance of gardens in the long history of British relations with the subcontinent. To British eyes, she demonstrates, India was an untamed land that needed the visible stamp of civilization that gardens in their many guises could convey. Colonial gardens changed over time, from the garden houses of eighteenth-century nabobs modeled on English country estates to the herbaceous borders, gravel walks, and well-trimmed lawns of Victorian civil servants. As the British extended their rule, they found that hill stations like Simla offered an ideal retreat from the unbearable heat of the plains and a place to coax English flowers into bloom. Furthermore, India was part of the global network of botanical exploration and collecting that gathered up the world's plants for transport to great imperial centers such as Kew. And it is through colonial gardens that one may track the evolution of imperial ideas of governance. Every Government House and Residency was carefully landscaped to reflect current ideals of an ordered society. At Independence in 1947 the British left behind a lasting legacy in their gardens, one still reflected in the design of parks and information technology campuses and in the horticultural practices of home gardeners who continue to send away to England for seeds.

Reviews

I found myself entertained on every page. Herbert's achievement is that under the guise of a study of Britannia's role as gardener she has written a thoroughly scholarly-indeed, groundbreaking, in every sense of the word-history of the British entanglement in India. She has flung her net far and wide, and drawn in a wealth of unfamiliar sources, both exotic and homely, to build up a rich tapestry of the Indian landscape. . . . full of insights and wonderfully readable, Flora's Empire is as much a treat for the general reader as it is for those who relish 'the glory of the garden.' -Charles Allen, editor of Plain Tales from the Raj An excellent history of British gardens in India. . . . [Herbert] writes with gentle wit, elegance and love of her subject which are rare in books on garden history. -Financial Times


About the Author

Eugenia W. Herbert is Professor Emeritus of History at Mount Holyoke College and the author of several books, including Twilight on the Zambezi: Late Colonialism in Central Africa.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

24th August 2011

Author

Eugenia W. Herbert

More books by Eugenia W. Herbert
Author 'Like for Like'
    recommendations

Publisher

University of Pennsylvania Press

Format

Hardback
440 pages

Categories

Landscape art & architecture

ISBN

9780812243260

It's a lively, independent website with reviews, recommendations and more - with a huge range of books available to buy in all formats.

Alison Layland

You'll always find what you never knew you were looking for and you're always spoilt for choice.

Helen Jones

Love books. Love reading. Love reading books. And, here's the trick. Here's a website which caters for people like me.

Ian Harvey-brown

Lovereading is not only an amazing site, but it's one of my very favourites. It's like visiting a fascinating bookstore, but better.

Rebecca Jayne Barrett

I love the honest opinions, recommendations for every genre and every reader, wish lists and Like for Like.

Amrita Dasgupta

Discover new authors and enjoy old favourites; oodles of literary gems to uncover at Lovereading with candid reviews from real reviewers.

Emily Wright

I love Lovereading for the wonderful like for like author recommendations and for highlighting new books, it's a great resource for readers!

Lindsay

Books of the month/debuts of the month, kids/adults, fiction/non-fiction, free prize draws and free extracts, what's not to love?

Emma Smith

Lovereading4kids

Lovereading4schools