In this Book

summary

Like their penchant for clubs, cricket, and hunting, the planting of English gardens by the British in India reflected an understandable need on the part of expatriates to replicate home as much as possible in an alien environment. In Flora's Empire, Eugenia W. Herbert argues that more than simple nostalgia or homesickness lay at the root of this "garden imperialism," however. Drawing on a wealth of period illustrations and personal accounts, many of them little known, she traces the significance of gardens in the long history of British relations with the subcontinent. To British eyes, she demonstrates, India was an untamed land that needed the visible stamp of civilization that gardens in their many guises could convey.

Colonial gardens changed over time, from the "garden houses" of eighteenth-century nabobs modeled on English country estates to the herbaceous borders, gravel walks, and well-trimmed lawns of Victorian civil servants. As the British extended their rule, they found that hill stations like Simla offered an ideal retreat from the unbearable heat of the plains and a place to coax English flowers into bloom. Furthermore, India was part of the global network of botanical exploration and collecting that gathered up the world's plants for transport to great imperial centers such as Kew. And it is through colonial gardens that one may track the evolution of imperial ideas of governance. Every Government House and Residency was carefully landscaped to reflect current ideals of an ordered society. At Independence in 1947 the British left behind a lasting legacy in their gardens, one still reflected in the design of parks and information technology campuses and in the horticultural practices of home gardeners who continue to send away to England for seeds.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Frontispiece, Copyright, Dedication
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. xi-xii
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  1. Introduction: Cowslips and Lotuses
  2. pp. 1-15
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  1. Part I: Gardeners Abroad
  2. pp. 17-136
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  1. Chapter 1: From Garden House to Bungalow, Nabobs to Heaven-Born
  2. pp. 19-61
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  1. Chapter 2: Calcutta and the Gardens of Barrackpore
  2. pp. 62-96
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  1. Chapter 3: Over the Hills and Far Away: The Hill Stations of India
  2. pp. 97-136
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  1. Part II: Gardens of Empire
  2. p. 137
  1. Chapter 4: Eastward in Eden: Botanical Imperialism and Imperialists
  2. pp. 139-180
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  1. Chapter 5: Gardens of Memory
  2. pp. 181-196
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  1. Chapter 6: The Taj and the Raj: Restoring the Taj Mahal
  2. pp. 197-226
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  1. Chapter 7: Imperial Delhi: City of Gardens
  2. pp. 227-256
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  1. Chapter 8: Imperial New Delhi: The Garden City
  2. pp. 257-284
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  1. Chapter 9: The Legacy
  2. pp. 285-302
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  1. Conclusion: Garden Imperialism
  2. pp. 303-314
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  1. Images
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  1. Common Trees, Shrubs, and Plants in India South of the Himalayas
  2. pp. 315-318
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 319-351
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 353-371
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 373-379
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 381-382
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780812205053
Print ISBN
9780812243260
MARC Record
OCLC
805419167
Pages
432
Launched on MUSE
2012-06-08
Language
English
Open Access
N
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