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The Laskett

The Laskett

by RoyStrong (Author)

Synopsis

This is a portrait of a marriage expressed through the vision and mystery of creating a garden. Neither the author, Roy Strong, nor his wife, the designer Julia Trevelyan Oman, had foreseen this when they eloped and married in 1971. More than thirty years later they found themselves surrounded by the largest and most important formal garden established in this country since 1945. But it is not so much the horticultural triumph that will grip the reader as what this garden on the Welsh Borders in Herefordshire came to mean in the lives of its creators. Into the Laskett they etched their own biographies, including many of the people who crossed their lives and are commemorated within it. That galaxy embraces not only garden icons, like Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe and Ian Hamilton Finlay, but figures as varied as the photographer Sir Cecil Beaton, the painter John Piper and the fashion designer Jean Muir. It also enshrines memories of the great choreographer, Sir Frederick Ashton, of the Prince of Wales and his garden at Highgrove, as well as a colourful pageant of minor characters from mole catchers to cats. The Laskett is the unique story of someone who, with his wife, has been at the centre of the arts for half a century. A great love affair, a haunting and human tale of a garden as the domain of ghosts and as the habitat of memory, within its confines can be found both joy and happiness as well as the tears of tragedy. No-one who reads this book will put it down unmoved.

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More Information

Format: Paperback
Pages: 251
Edition: New edition
Publisher: Bantam Books (Transworld Publishers a division of the Random House Group)
Published: 01 Oct 2005

ISBN 10: 0553815199
ISBN 13: 9780553815191
Book Overview: An exceptionally personal book by the renowned garden writer, historian, critic and columnist

Media Reviews
A funny, touching and charming book - as much a portrait of a marriage as a garden - full of delightful pen portraits of people and places' THE TIMES; 'The tale of a garden...a paradise of love and hope...so steeped in the memories of its creators that it reads like an autobiography' COUNTRY LIFE
Author Bio
Sir Roy Strong is well known as an historian and garden writer, lecturer, critic, columnist and regular contributor to both radio and television. He was Director of the National Portrait Gallery from 1967 to 1973 and of the V&A from 1974 to 1987. In 1980 he was awarded the prestigious Shakespeare Prize by the FVS Foundation of Hamburg in recognition of his contribution to the arts in the UK. He has published a number of highly acclaimed books and his recent publications include The Story of Britain, The Spirit of Britain, A Country Life, Feast: A History of Grand Eating and his own diaries. Sir Roy lives in Herefordshire. Sadly his wife, the film, television and theatre designer, Julia Trevelyan Oman, died in 2003.