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Garden Museum Literary Week

Submitted by on July 17, 2015 – 8:43 amNo Comment

england_hatfield-estateIf ever there was an event worth saving up to attend, Road Trips Gardeners, this is it.

“A friend, a book and a garden” is the theme for the Garden Museum Literary Week at Hatfield House (pictured), the home of the 7th Marquess and Marchioness of Salisbury and their family (the Estate has been in the Cecil family for 400 years). Located at Hatfield in Hertfordshire, it’s about 21 miles from Central London, England.

Although billed as “a week”, it’s actually just a weekend — specifically October 3 and 4, 2015. On both days talks will be divided between the Old Palace and The Marble Hall of Hatfield House. During the day the gardens and park will be open to guests with garden tours led by the Head Gardener.

The 2015 Festival, sponsored by London’s Garden Museum, opens in the Old Palace of Queen Elizabeth I with a welcome by The Marchioness of Salisbury.

Other presenters:

Alison Weir, British historian, and author of ‘Elizabeth The Queen’

Dr. Philip Mansel, historian of European Courts, on gardens in the life of Louis XIV

Lady Jane Roberts, former Royal Librarian, on George III’s landscape at Windsor

Tom Stuart-Smith, garden designer, on our fickle idea of what nature is

Alan Titchmarsh explores gardens in childrens’ literature, joined by Kathryn Aalto, author of ‘The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh’

Richard Mabey, Britain’s greatest nature writer, on ‘The Cabaret of Plants’

John Lewis-Stempel, winner of the Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing, on ‘Meadowland’

Rob Cowen, author of ‘Common Ground’, explores our emotional connection to landscape

Helena Attlee retraces the Italian journey of ‘The Land Where Lemons Grow,’ a Radio 4 Book of the Week

Simon Jenkins, writer and former editor of The Times

And three contemporary responses to Voltaire’s conclusion to Candide, ‘Il faut cultiver notre jardin’:

Will Self on ‘The Garden: Synecdoche or Place Apart’

Kim Wilkie reflects on nature and Nutrition in the English landscape movement

Sue Stuart-Smith, psychiatrist and psychotherapist

Marella Caracciolo Chia, author of ‘The Last Swan’ on gardens in the life of her aunt Marella Agnelli

The day ends in The Marble Hall with a performance of Remembering Ruhleben: The other RHS:
Readings, music and song to celebrate the remarkable story of a horticultural society that sprung up in a German internment camp during the First World War.

Sunday begins with a welcome by The Marquis of Salisbury, followed by:

Dr. David Starkey on ‘1215 and Magna Carta: when the barons really ruled England’

Evan Davis chairs a debate on gardening in political lives, with talks by:

Chris Mullin, former Minister, diarist and gardener

George Plumptre, author and Chief Executive of the National Gardens Scheme, on Churchill the gardener

Tim Richardson, author of ‘The Arcadian Friends’ and Telegraph columnist, on 18th-century gardening as an extension of politics by other means

John Carey, emeritus Merton Professor at the University of Oxford (and allotmenteer), on ‘Gardening in Eden: Milton’s Paradise Lost’

Rosamund Bartlett, biographer of Tolstoy and Chekhov, on Chekhov’s Gardens

Hermione Lee on ‘Horticultural Heaven: The lives of Edith Wharton, Virginia Woolf, and Penelope Fitzgerald through their gardens’

Alexandra Harris, winner of The Guardian First Book Award with ‘The Romantic Moderns’ on the weather in British novels

Matthew Dennison, on ‘Behind the Mask: The Life of Vita Sackville-West’

Chloe Aridjis, author of the acclaimed ‘Book of Clouds’ and ‘Asunder’ and winner of the Prix du Premier Roman Etranger in France, on moths in novels

Alys Fowler, Guardian gardening writer and food and allotment lover

And Dan Pearson, garden designer, on ‘commitment’

(Photo courtesy of the Garden Museum)

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