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The Ghost In The Garden

in search of Darwin's lost garden

Jude Piesse

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Scribe Publications
04 June 2021
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The forgotten garden which inspired Charles Darwin becomes the modern-day setting for an exploration of memory, family, and the legacy of genius.

The forgotten garden which inspired Charles Darwin becomes the modern-day setting for an exploration of memory, family, and the legacy of genius.

Darwin never stopped thinking about the garden at his childhood home, The Mount. It was here, under the tutelage of his green-fingered mother and sisters, that he first examined the reproductive life of flowers, collected birds' eggs, and began the experiments that would lead to his theory of evolution.

A century and a half later, with one small child in tow and another on the way, Jude Piesse finds herself living next door to this secret garden. Two acres of the original site remain, now resplendent with overgrown ashes, sycamores, and hollies. The carefully tended beds and circular flower garden are buried under suburban housing; the hothouses where the Darwins and their skilful gardeners grew pineapples are long gone. Walking the pathways with her new baby, Piesse starts to discover what impact the garden and the people who tended it had on Darwin's work.

Blending biography, nature writing, and memoir, The Ghost in the Garden traces the origins of the theory of evolution and uncovers the lost histories that inspired it, ultimately evoking the interconnectedness of all things.

'A fascinating and very personal book in which Darwin's relationship to his family's garden reflects directly on his visionary understanding of the natural world in its entirety. A delight!' Julia Blackburn, author of Thin Paths Praise for British Settler Emigration in Print, 1832-1877- 'This sensitivity to migration and transnational encounter is one of the most rewarding legacies of postcolonial criticism. I particularly recommend ... Jude Piesse's British Settler Emigration in Print, 1832-1877.' -Talia Schaffer, SEL- Studies in English Literature 1500-1900
By:   Jude Piesse
Imprint:   Scribe Publications
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 217mm,  Width: 158mm,  Spine: 28mm
Weight:   472g
ISBN:   9781925849943
ISBN 10:   1925849945
Pages:   336
Publication Date:   04 June 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Jude Piesse is an academic and writer. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia and a PhD in English Literature from the University of Exeter. She has published widely on nineteenth-century literature and culture, including her book about emigration literature, British Settler Emigration in Print, 1832-1877 (OUP, 2016). Though she grew up in Shropshire, she did not discover Darwin's childhood garden until she moved to Shrewsbury with her young family to take up her first lectureship. She now works as a lecturer in English Literature at Liverpool John Moores University.

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