A richly illustrated exploration of how late Georgian gardens associated with medical practitioners advanced science, education, and agricultural experimentation
As Britain grew into an ever-expanding empire during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, new and exotic botanical specimens began to arrive within the nation’s public and private spaces. Gardens became sites not just of leisure, sport, and aesthetic enjoyment, but also of scientific inquiry and knowledge dissemination. Medical practitioners used their botanical training to capitalize on the growing fashion for botanical collecting and agricultural experimentation in institutional, semipublic, and private gardens across Britain. This book highlights the role of these medical practitioners in the changing use of gardens in the late Georgian period, marked by a fluidity among the ideas of farm, laboratory, museum, and garden. Placing these activities within a wider framework of fashionable, scientific, and economic interests of the time, historian Clare Hickman argues that gardens shifted from predominately static places of enjoyment to key gathering places for improvement, knowledge sharing, and scientific exploration.
Clare Hickman is a senior lecturer in history at Newcastle University. She lives in Whitley Bay, United Kingdom.
“In her stimulating and original study, Hickman turns away from the traditional focus of garden history—great aristocratic and royal estates—to consider more modest gardens, mostly situated on the periphery of London. . . . In reconstructing and animating landscapes, now mostly buried under city streets, Hickman has recovered a lost world of medical gardens.”—Kate Teltscher, Spectator
“Hickman has done a remarkable job of working on gardens that have long disappeared and are often not very well documented. . . . A welcome renewal to the field of garden studies.”—Elena Romero-Passerin, Journal of Modern History
“In addition to reading a variety of sources and the gardens themselves, Hickman pays attention to the archive, including who has been left out of it, as she leads readers through a rich medicinal and ornamental landscape.”—Zachary Dorner, Agricultural History
Winner of the John Brinckerhoff Jackson Book Prize, sponsored by the Center for Cultural Landscapes at the UVA School of Architecture
“This book is a very original and accomplished work of garden history, exploring the British eighteenth-century doctor’s garden as an important and neglected site of knowledge creation and dissemination.”—Jonathan Reinarz, author of Past Scents: Historical Perspectives on Smell
“This beautifully written book illuminates our understanding of gardens as centers of medical teaching and research, as sources of experimentation, as places of sociability, and as productive spaces.”—James Beattie, coeditor of the Routledge Research on Gardens in History series, and chair, Garden History Research Foundation
“In this innovative, impressive book Clare Hickman eschews the traditional focus on the grounds of the landed rich, casting a mass of new light on a rather different range of eighteenth-century gardens. Readable, thought-provoking, and extraordinarily well-researched.”—Tom Williamson, author of Humphry Repton: Landscape Design in an Age of Revolution
“Gardens linked British medical practitioners to a world of science, knowledge, travel, literature, and collecting. In The Doctor’s Garden, Clare Hickman cultivates a visionary landscape history of medicine.”—Annmarie Adams, author of Medicine by Design: The Architect and the Modern Hospital, 1893–1943
“Clare Hickman uncovers a vibrant network of medical gardeners. Their plantings, temples, and observatories may have vanished, but their ethos of enquiry can still inspire.”—Alexandra Harris, author of Weatherland: Writers and Artists under English Skies
Sign up for updates on new releases and special offers
Our website offers shipping to the United States and Canada only. For customers in other countries: