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Title: Wilderness and grove : gardening with trees in England 1688-1750
Author: Bartos, James Michael
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis establishes the importance of the wilderness to the design and planting of English gardens in the late seventeenth and the first half of the eighteenth centuries. Not only was the wilderness an important feature amongst other designed elements of the garden, but it was fundamental to the making of gardens during the period. In its mature form the wilderness constituted most or the whole of the designed area. Writers on garden history in the recent past have generally overlooked the importance of the wilderness to gardens of this period and have failed to perceive that the mature wilderness constituted the context in which the garden existed. As an ornamental grove, the wilderness benefited from classical, biblical and historical associations with trees and groves of trees. The thesis analyses four themes of the period: the grove as a sacred place, with both classical and biblical connotations; the grove as a pleasant place of retirement; the Druidical grove; and the association of planting, particularly the oak, with patriotism and family. Garden writers discussed the form and content of the wilderness from 1700 until the 1770s, and these writings are closely considered in order to ascertain the physical aspects of the wilderness that the writers described and prescribed. A brief analysis of precedents for the English wilderness in Italy, France and Holland precedes the principal section of the thesis, which traces the development of the wilderness in English gardens through the creation of a typology of distinct types. Although modern garden historians have acknowledged that the wilderness took different forms during this period, no comprehensive analysis of its various forms has previously been attempted The Conclusion considers the relationship amongst wilderness, text and Continental precedent. It also examines the afterlife of the wilderness to conclude that the landscape garden and the shrubbery as they developed later in the century represented the destruction of the wilderness, not its evolution. Finally, it returns to the contemporary cultural and aesthetic values expressed by the wilderness.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available