Wordsworth's Gardens and Flowers: The Spirit of Paradise
Author: Peter Dale (Selwyn 1969) and Brandon Yen (Queens' 2012)
Publisher: ACC Art Books
A book that debunks the popular myth that William Wordsworth was, first and foremost, a poet of daffodils, Wordsworth's Gardens and Flowers: The Spirit of Paradise provides a vivid account of Wordsworth as a gardening poet who not only wrote about gardens and flowers but also designed - and physically worked in – his gardens.
Wordsworth's Gardens and Flowers: The Spirit of Paradise is a book of two halves. The first section focuses on the gardens that Wordsworth made at Grasmere and Rydal in the English Lake District, and also in Leicestershire, at Coleorton. The gardens are explored via his poetry and prose and the journals of his sister, Dorothy Wordsworth. In the second half of the book, the reader learns more of Wordsworth's use of flowers in his poetry, exploring the vital importance of British flowers and other 'unassuming things' to his work, as well as their wider cultural, religious and political meaning.
Throughout, the engaging, accessible text is woven around illustrations that bring Wordsworth's gardens and flowers to life, including rare botanical prints, many reproduced here for the first time in several decades.