THIS OTHER EDEN tells English history from the 1600s onwards in terms of the radical – political, as much as cultural – shifts which put seven extraordinary gardens at the cusp of design in their day.
It will take the reader on a journey through English history, art and philosophy, its narrative unfolding through seven chapters, each containing the biography of a significant garden. Within each garden religion, science and technology, as much as art and aesthetics, weave their way into the fabric of the design. Politics and the representation of power are also key to their development because these gardens became the sites of social control as much as social visits.
Brought alive by the stories of the people connected to these gardens, the gardeners, their patrons and the obsessions which drove them all, THIS OTHER EDEN will be a work of English history that lies somewhere between Simon Schama and Anna Pavord.
Andrea Wulf was born in India and moved to Germany as a child. She lives in Britain where she trained as a design historian at the Royal College of Art and is now a full-time writer. She is the co-author (with Emma Gieben-Gamal) of THIS OTHER EDEN: Seven Great Gardens and 300 Years of English History (Little Brown 2005). In 2008, her book THE BROTHER GARDENERS: Botany, Empire and the Birth of an Obsession (William Heinemann) was published and longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize 2008.
She has written for the Wall Street Journal, Sunday Times, Financial Times, The Garden, Kew Magazine, and regularly reviews for several newspapers, including the Guardian, Mail on Sunday and the Times Literary Supplement. She lectures widely to large audiences including the Royal Geographical Society, Royal Society and Chelsea Physic Garden in Britain as well as the Academy of Natural Sciences, the International Center for Jefferson Studies (Monticello) and the U.S. Botanic Garden in the United States. She has also talked at major prestigious literary festivals including the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Hay Literary Festival and Cheltenham Literary Festival. She is a regular contributor to BBC radio and television.