A look at the English Pleasure Garden in history – and a note that Jane Austen lived opposite Sydney Gardens in Bath and would have seen the masquerades (a euphemism if ever there was one) that went on there. Oh what historical fun.

Austenonly

Last week I reviewed Vauxhall Gardens: A History by David Coke and Alan Borg. That book, while fascinating, gigantic in size and scope, and well worth its price, is rather expensive and I wanted to point you in the way of a more reasonably-priced soft cover book on the same topic,  The English Pleasure Garden by Sarah Jane  Downing, published by Shire.

This is not a very large book, only 64 page in all, but it manages to be a comprehensive overview on the subject of those lost pleasure gardens, which  were such a feature of 18th /early 19th century life. It does not concentrate on one garden, but gives the reader a clear view of the rather short history of these gardens from their Stuart beginnings to their sad Victorian end.

There are chapters on the London gardens, and you may be interested to know that Vauxhall and…

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