The 19th Century Garden pt 3 - The Challenges of Working-Class  Gardens

The 19th Century Garden pt 3 - The Challenges of Working-Class Gardens

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£5

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Online event

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This talk is the first in our 3rd series on Victorian Gardens on Thurs @ 10.00 from 15 Sept. £5 each or all 6 for £30.

About this event

Our third set of lectures on the C19th garden takes us towards its heyday. As Britain’s empire expanded plant hunters scoured the world to bring home plants to fill the gardens and greenhouses not just of the rich but an ever-growing middle class. Gardening became a hobby, and indeed a passion for many in the working class too. As a result, gardening books and magazines flourished, and horticulture became big business. Garden design, like architecture became more and more eclectic. Labour was cheap so extravagance and display became commonplace in the private realm while public parks, often on a grand scale, were created all over the country, but especially in urban areas. Inevitably however there was a reaction against such artifice and excess, with a call for the return to more natural styles, and by the end of the century the cottage garden was vying with the lush herbaceous border to be the defining feature of the late Victorian garden.

This ticket is for this individual session and costs £5, and you may purchase tickets for other individual sessions via the links below, or you may purchase a ticket for the entire course of 6 sessions at a cost of £30 via the link here.

Attendees will be sent a Zoom link 2 days prior to the start of the talk, and again a few hours before the talk. A link to the recorded session (available for 1 week) will be sent shortly afterwards.

Due to a recent Apple decision to charge a 30% fee for paid online events unfortunately you may no longer be able to purchase this ticket from the Eventbrite iOS app. Please use a web browser on desktop or mobile to purchase or follow the link here.

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Week 1. 15 September: The Challenges of the Victorian Working-class Garden. First in a series of 6 online lectures, £5 each or all 6 for £30.

Week 2. 22 September: The Global Garden.. Second in a series of 6 online lectures, £5 each or all 6 for £30.

Week 3. 29 September: The Wild Garden: William Robinson and Alfred Parsons Third in a series of 6 online lectures, £5 each or all 6 for £30.

Week 4. 6 October: Boating Lakes and Backhanders: J. J. Sexby and the Politics of the Public Park. Fourth in a series of 6 online lectures, £5 each or all 6 for £30.

Week 5. 13 October: Painting the Victorian Garden. Fifth in a series of 6 online lectures, £5 each or all 6 for £30.

Week 6. 20 October: The Women who Broke the Glasshouse Ceiling. Last in a series of 6 online lectures, £5 each or all 6 for £30.

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Week 1. 15 September: The Challenges of the Victorian Working-class Garden with Margaret Willes

My title is deliberately doubled edged. Gardening was indeed often a challenge to working-class men and women, who lacked spare time, money and access to sources of information, often denied them through lack of literacy.

When I was asked to write a history of British working-class gardens, I also faced a challenge, though finding out about the 19th century was easier than for earlier times.

In my talk I shall consider the sources that I found both useful and illuminating, from recreations of historic gardens to literature, photographs and oral history. I shall look at a wide range of what might be considered gardens, across Britain and Ireland, town and country, including shared spaces such as allotments.

Image: A Cottage Garden, Myles Birket Foster, ©The Trustees of the British Museum.

Margaret Willes spent her career in book publishing, latterly as the Publisher at the National Trust. On retirement, she took up writing on various aspects of cultural history. Her gardening books include The Making of the English Gardener: Plants, Books and Inspiration, 1560-1660 (Yale University Press, 2011), A Shakespearean Botanical (Bodleian Publishing, 2015), and The Gardens of the British Working Class (Yale University Press, 2014). She cultivates her own garden in Hackney.

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