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April 20 , 2009

The Arcadian Friends


Between 1715 and 1750, a group of politicans and poets, farmers and businessmen, heiresses and landowners began to experiment with the phenomenon that was to become the English landscape garden. Arguably the greatest British art form ever invented, these gardens were built to charm and delight, to shock and inspire all who visited. That these gardens - including Castle Howard, Stowe, Painshill and Rousham - are still so popular with visitors today is a testament to the innovation and passion of this extraordinary group of eccentrics and visionaries.

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The Arcadian Friends takes a highly engaging perspective on the politics and culture of England during the Enlightenment. At the same time it will be required reading for the legions of fans of the great gardens of England.

Tim Richardson introduces us to a period of poltical and personal intrigue, where fantastic biblical landscapes competed for space with temples to sexual freedom; and where the installation of a water feature was a political act. The Arcadian Friends tells the story of a collection of fascinating characters whose influence changed the landscape of Britain for ever.

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