The Gardens of William and Mary

David Jacques, Author Christopher Helm Publishing Company $0 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7470-1608-3
For too long, argue the authors, the Dutch classical garden has suffered from an undeserved bad reputation for small-minded fussiness: as early as the 1740s, a famed English critic dismissed them as ``those crimping, Diminutive, and wretched Performances.'' Jacques, Inspector of Historic Parks and Gardens in England, and van der Horst, a Dutch landscape architect, instead appreciate the gardens for their ``sense of enclosure, of intimacy, and of the relationship of buildings, especially pavilions, to water.'' This detailed comparative history of royal Dutch gardens in the Netherlands and England during the reign of William and Mary (1688-1702) dwells on the glory days when one typical garden avenue was framed by 1864 elms in four rows running three miles (in Hampton Court, 1000 clipped yews and hollies once flourished) and takes readers on a walk through the typical classical Dutch garden to analyze each element. Most fascinating is a section where the opinions of garden visitors from the past are quoted (and rebutted). As academic as the subject may seem, the study shows flashes of brilliance.and thoroughness. (May)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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