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Mark Laird presents A Natural History of English Gardening – talk & book signing

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

| £10
M Laird book cover

Tuesday 25th August, 6pm – 7.30pm

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Gilbert White & The Oates Collections welcomes Mark Laird for an exclusive talk on his recent publication A Natural History of English Gardening. The event will start with an exclusive tour of Gilbert White’s gardens with David Standing, head gardener and dedicated Gilbert White enthusiast.

“With humour, wit and compassion, Mark Laird presents human-biological life in and around the garden: the charm of natural creatures, the heartbreak of weather, the thrill of the bloom. His manuscript is a monumental achievement in its command of historical data. He has unleashed archival material from diverse sources never brought to bear on the complex world of eighteenth-century gardens and landscapes.”

-Therese O’Malley, associate dean, Centre for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art –

Inspired by the pioneering naturalist Gilbert White, who viewed natural history as the common study of cultural and natural communities, Mark Laird unearths forgotten historical data to reveal the complex visual cultures of early modern gardening. Ranging from climate studies to the study of a butterfly’s life cycle, this original and fascinating book examines the scientific quest for order in nature as an offshoot of ordering the garden and field.

Laird follows a broad series of chronological events-from the Little Ice Age winter of 1683 to the drought summer of the volcanic 1783-to probe the nature of gardening and husbandry, the role of amateurs in scientific disciplines, and the contribution of women as gardener-naturalists. Illustrated by a stunning wealth of visual and literary materials-paintings, engravings, poetry, essays, and letters, as well as prosaic household accounts and nursery bills-Laird fundamentally transforms our understanding of the English landscape garden as a powerful cultural expression.

Mark Laird is a historic landscape consultant and garden conservator and teaches landscape history at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University. Previous books include The Flowering of the Landscape Garden: English Pleasure Grounds, 1720-1800 and Mrs. Delany and Her Circle (Yale).

The event will start at 6pm from the main Museum reception and will finish at 7:30pm in the Field Studies Centre. Parking is available in the public car park behind the Selborne Arms public house.

Tickets: £10

Available t at or phone: 01420 511 275.

Copies of the book will be available on the day for purchase. RRP £45


Tuesday, August 25th, 2015
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


Gilbert White’s House
Alton, Hampshire GU34 3JH United Kingdom
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01420 511275