Elizabeth in the Garden : A Story of Love, Rivalry and Spectacular Design, Paperback

Elizabeth in the Garden : A Story of Love, Rivalry and Spectacular Design Paperback

3.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Lord Robert Dudley, Queen Elizabeth I's lover, and Sir William Cecil, her chief political adviser, were the most powerful men in the country.

As their rivalry intensified, they competed by creating ever more fabulous gardens for their queen.

Dudley's aim was to woo her; Cecil's, to stop Dudley in his tracks.

Dudley set out an intoxicatingly romantic garden, and threw spectacular outdoor parties for his queen; Cecil countered by building a sumptuous palace with amazing gardens overseen by the most famous gardener in the country, John Gerard.

This is the beguiling story of a lifelong duel. For Elizabeth, these gardens were places for love and intrigue, power play and spectacular design.




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Trea Martyn taught Garden History at the University of London and this, her first book, is a fascinating and discursive description of Queen Elizabeth and her relationships with Lord Robert Dudley and Sir William Cecil, as manifested in their gardens. The extravagant Dudley used the grounds of Kenilworth Castle to create an up-to-date wonderland that was designed to glorify himself and persuade the Virgin Queen to marry him. Cecil responded by making for Elizabeth a safe, serene and spectacular garden – in her honour – at Theobalds palace. Garden lore, gossip, history, art, intrigue, revels, landscaping and horticulture, this book is as fragrant as a damask rose, and as delightful as a spring garden.