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The History and Afterlife of Darwin's Childhood Garden

Piesse, J The History and Afterlife of Darwin's Childhood Garden. Journal of Victorian Culture. ISSN 1355-5502 (Accepted)

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Abstract

This article examines the history and significance of Charles Darwin’s childhood garden at The Mount in Shrewsbury. Unlike the mature Darwin’s garden at Down House, Kent, his childhood garden at The Mount has only recently begun to be restored and it is not well known outside of local or specialist circles. The first part of the article aims to recover the story of the garden for a wider interdisciplinary readership. It builds upon research in the fields of garden history and biography to make a case for the garden’s importance to Darwin’s life and scientific work while also revealing the site’s afterlife as a lost garden and challenging restoration project. The second part of the article argues that the garden can be viewed as an enchanted space that enables us to connect more closely with a positive vision of a romantic, ecologically conscious Darwin who is of particular relevance to our times. I conclude by briefly outlining how these ideas were tested at the Darwin’s Childhood Garden Study Day, organised with Shropshire Wildlife Trust in 2016 following its purchase of part of the site in 2013.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2002 Cultural Studies, 2005 Literary Studies, 2103 Historical Studies
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions: Humanities & Social Science
Publisher: Oxford University Press (OUP)
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2019 11:18
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2019 11:18
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/11934

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