Penelope Lively was born in Cairo, Egypt and spent her childhood there. She came to England at the age of twelve, in 1945, and went to boarding school in Sussex. She went on to read Modern History at St Anne's College, Oxford. In 1957 she married Jack Lively (who died in 1998). They had two children, Josephine and Adam. Jack Lively's academic career took the family from Swansea to Sussex and Oxford, and eventually to Warwick University, where he was Professor of Politics. Penelope Lively now has six grandchildren and lives in London.
Rich and unusual, this is a book to treasure. Few recent gardening books come anywhere close to its style, intelligence and depth. Moves between Lively's own horticultural life and a broad history of gardening * Alex Preston, Observer * Exquisite and original * Daily Telegraph * A gentle, scholarly progress through the lives and works of Penelope Lively's favoured authors - from Jane Austen to Beatrix Potter, Philip Larkin to Tom Stoppard * The Times * Wonderful. A manifesto of horticultural delight * Literary Review * Beautiful. Perfect for literary garden lovers * Good Housekeeping * Enchanting. Reading this book is like walking with a wise, humorous guide through a series of garden rooms . . . and finding that vistas suddenly open out, on to history, fashion, politics, reflections on time and the taming of nature * Tablet * A perfect bedside book. In part it's a memoir of the gardens in Lively's life, starting with the exotic Egyptian garden of her childhood and continuing up to her small present-day garden in a north London square * Sunday Express * A gentle survey of the garden's place in Western culture, which morphs into a personal meditation on time, memory and a life well lived * i * Scholarly bedtime reading * The Times, Books of the Year * Lively finds memories of her own gardens scrambling like roses through insights into the history of gardening and the artists - including Woolf, Monet and PG Wodehouse - who have been inspired by their gardens * Daily Mail * Delightful * Lady * Elegant, entertaining and inspirational * Woman & Home * It's always a joy to enter the world of one of our finest living authors, Penelope Lively. . . She will take you on a thought-provoking journey through Paradise Lost and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and give you fresh insights into writers and their gardens, from Virginia Woolf to Philip Larkin * Period Ideas * The perfect book for dedicated garden lovers * S Magazine *