A Cultural History of Gardens in the Age of Empire

A Cultural History of Gardens in the Age of Empire, Volume 5

by Sonja Dümpelmann

Sonja Dümpleman is associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She is the author of a book on the life and work of Italian landscape architect Maria Teresa Parapagliolo Shephard and of a forthcoming book on the influence of powered aviation on landscape. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Bloomsbury Academic, 2013
  • DOI:
  • ISBN:
    978-1-3500-4808-9 (online)

    978-0-85785-033-1 (hardback)

    978-1-3500-0993-6 (paperback)
  • Edition:
    First Edition
  • Place of Publication:
  • Published Online:
A Cultural History of Gardens in the Age of Empire
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As much as the nineteenth and early twentieth century gardens and their designs were a product and representation of industrialisation and urbanisation, they were also motors of change. Gardens became an industry in and of themselves. They were both the last resting places of the dead and cultivated plots for surv ival. Gardens were therapeutic environments regarded as civilising, socialising and assimialting institutions, and they were designed and perceived as social landscapes and community playgrounds.

Rich with symbolism, gardens were treated as the subject and the setting for literature and painting and were often considerd works of art in themselves. In a time of empire, when plants were drawn from across the globe, gardens also reflected territorial conquest and expansion and they fostered national, regional and local identities.

A Cultural History of Gardens in the Age of Empire presents an overview of the period with essays on issues of design, types of gardens, planting, use and reception, issues of meaning, verbal and visual representation of gardens, and the relationship of gardens to the larger landscape.