The author Sarah Jane Downing kindly gave me an interview recently on her new book about Georgian Pleasure Gardens. If you're in London you can catch her giving a lecture in November to The Georgian Group - details below and on The Georgian Group website.
17th November 2009
Lecture / The English Pleasure Garden 1660-1860 by Sarah-Jane Downing*
6 Fitzroy Square W1
The English Pleasure Gardens were the public galleries of their time - an embodiment of the romanticism of the Grand Tour. The Temple of Comus at Vauxhall was a Rococo marvel and the Rotunda at Ranelagh was a triumph based on the Pantheon in Rome. They inspired the finest artists, musicians and writers: Hogarth, Canaletto, Handel, Mozart, Walpole, Smollett, Burney and Austen all wrote about, painted or are otherwise associated with the gardens, many of which disappeared almost without trace during the nineteenth century. Sarah-Jane Downing brings back to life a forgotten art-form that was quintessentially English, of real social and artistic importance in its time.