ITALIAN VILLAS AND THEIR GARDENS

Parrish, Maxfield]. Wharton Edith

Published by New York John Lane: The Bodley Head 1904, 1904
Hardcover
From Buddenbrooks, Inc. ABAA (Newburyport, MA, U.S.A.)

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First edition and First Issue. A COPY WITH SUPERB PROVENANCE and especially so as regards its association with garden design and garden ornament, This copy was owned by and comes from the home of Nancy Lancaster and her husband, Arthur Ronald Lambert Field Tree. Lancaster has been called "the most influential English gardener since Gertrude Jekyll." Profusely illustrated with 52 illustrations, 27 of which are colourplates or half tones by Maxfield Parrish, the rest being photographs and drawings by E. Denison, Malcolm Fraser and C. A. Vanderhof. Tall 8vo, publisher’s original dark forest green cloth decorated and lettered in gilt on the spine, cover design by Decorative Designers with elaborate pictorial decorations after Maxfield Parrish in an all over design, upper cover stamped in gilt and blocked in light green, blue, purple, gilt and rust, showing a villa garden. 270 pp. A fine copy with only light evidence of age or use, an uncommonly bright and appealing copy, internally clean and fresh, firm and solid, the binding with only minor evidence of age, the gilt bright and the colours unfaded. SCARCE FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE AND A COPY WITH VERY FINE PROVENANCE. One of the most well written books on Italian garden design. The combination of Wharton’s liquid descriptions and Parrish’s romantic paintings, makes for an extremely delightful book. Special attention is given to the gardens found at Florentine, Sienese and Roman villas. The relationship of the buildings to the natural surroundings is explored in detail. "The Italian garden does not exist for its flowers; its flowers exist for it: they are a late and infrequent adjunct to its beauties, a parenthetical grace counting only as one more touch in the general effect of enchantment. This is no doubt partly explained by the difficulty of cultivating any but spring flowers in so hot and dry a climate, and the result has been a wonderful development of the more permanent effects to be obtained from the three other factors in garden-composition - marble, water and perennial verdure - and the achievement, by their skillful blending, of a charm independent of the seasons". This copy was owned by and is from the home of Nancy Lancaster and her second husband, important Conservative MP Ronald Lambert Tree. It has his engraved library plate on the front endpaper. Nancy Lancaster (Nancy Keene Perkins Fields Tree Lancaster) was a leading 20th-century tastemaker and the owner of Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler, an influential British decorating firm that codified what is known as the English country-house look. Nancy was first married, in 1917, to Henry Field, the heir to the Marshall Field department store fortune. He died five months later, and in 1920 she married his bisexual cousin, journalist and investor Arthur Ronald Lambert Tree. The couple moved to England where they took a 10-year repairing lease on Kelmarsh Hall near Market Harborough in Northamptonshire, which Nancy redecorated with help from Mrs Guy Bethell of Elden Ltd. In 1933 the Trees bought Ditchley Park near Charlbury in Oxfordshire, and it was the decoration of this house which earned Nancy the reputation of having "the finest taste of almost anyone in the world." She worked on it with Lady Colefax and the French decorator Stéphane Boudin of the Paris firm Jansen. In November 1933 Ronald Tree became Conservative Party member of Parliament for Harborough. Tree was among a small group who saw the rising Nazi party in Germany as a threat to Britain, and he became a member of the anti-appeasement MPs (who included Eden, Duff Cooper etc.) who would meet at his house in Queen Anne's Gate. Winston Churchill was not really part of this group, but he and his wife Clementine dined at Ditchley on numerous occasions. During the war there was considerable concern over the visibility of Churchill’s retreat home at Chequers, so Tree offered Churchill use of Ditchley, which thanks to its tree coverage and no visible access road made. Bookseller Inventory # 23816

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Bibliographic Details

Title: ITALIAN VILLAS AND THEIR GARDENS

Publisher: New York John Lane: The Bodley Head 1904

Publication Date: 1904

Binding: Hardcover

Edition: 1st Edition

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