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Title: Gardens for Gloriana : Renaissance culture and hospitality in four Elizabethan gardens, 1558-1603
Author: Whitaker, Elizabeth Jane
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2013
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The Court of Queen Elizabeth I was at the centre of the political, social, cultural and religious life of the nation. The Queen and her courtiers were almost all highly educated, cultured and often well-travelled individuals, who, at the apex of society, embodied the interests and ideals of the Renaissance. Their gardens were both complex representations of Renaissance culture, and symbols of their status, power and wealth. As such they were dedicated not only to personal pleasure, but also to entertainment, display and courtly magnificence, especially when visited by the Queen on one of her annual Progresses. This thesis makes detailed case studies of four Renaissance houses, gardens and parks, not previously the subject of detailed research in this period, establishing for the first time the motivations and influences on their creators and their probable design, appearance and uses. Additionally, each individual study explores a broader theme of gardens in the Elizabethan period: sport and leisure, entertainment and display, botanical study and plant introduction, and husbandry and productive use. As well as scholarly sources, the research brings together a wide range of contemporary documents, maps and illustrations, and combines these with physical examination of the sites. Extensive reference is made to comparator houses and gardens, in Europe as well as in England, to illuminate the probable appearance and significance of the four primary sites. The research also encompasses contemporary sources in literature, poetry, art, architecture, horticulture and science, to illustrate the cultural context in which the gardens were created. There are no surviving complete Elizabethan gardens, and very few contemporary descriptions. This thesis, by systematic and comprehensive analysis using a broad range of sources, seeks to recreate a picture of four important gardens and thereby expand upon the knowledge of English gardens in the Early Modern period.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available