The Brother Gardeners:
Botany, Empire and the Birth of an Obsession
by Andrea Wulf
$35.00 List Price
In the prologue of Brideshead Revisited, as Captain Charles Ryder looks over the requisitioned property of his great lost loves, he sees Brideshead’s pitted and scarred landscape as the tragic endpoint of hundreds of years of cultivation: “The woods were all of oak and beech, the oak grey and bare, the beech faintly dusted with green by the breaking buds; they made a simple, carefully designed pattern with the green glades and the wide green spaces. . . . All this had been planned and planted a century and a half ago so that, at about this date, it might be seen in its maturity.” For Ryder, the tragedy is that this planning and planting has been done for the benefit only of Hooper, an officer in his company who has come to symbolize for him “Young England” in all its careless, secular, unromantic rootlessness.
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