An English garden in Provence

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Harvill, Sep 1, 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 207 pages
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At a young age Natasha Spender came into contact with the renowned gardens of such literary figures as Virginia and Leonard Woolf, Harold Nicolson, Vita Sackville-West, and Michael Astor. In the 1960s she and her husband, the poet Sir Stephen Spender, acquired the ruins of a farmhouse enclosed in the dramatic skyline of the Alpilles. After years of hard work the result was a unique garden. Lady Spenderís gardening friendships with the locals and neighbors, the regular and inspiring visits of friends such as John Bayley and Iris Murdoch, Francis Bacon, and the Annans, her explorations of the surrounding landscape, and passages from Stephen Spenderís unpublished journals, all contribute to this enchanting book. It is both a record of the creation of a beautiful garden in the arid hills of Provence, and a treasure trove for devoted gardeners.

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Contents

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About the author (1999)

Natasha Spender is the widow of the English poet Stephen Spender. She came into contact at a young age with the renowned gardens of such literary figures as Virginia and Leonard Woolf, Harold Nicolson, Vita Sackville-West, and Michael Astor. She was a professional concert pianist, then worked on research into the cognitive psychology of music and she only turned to gardening only much later in life when in the 1960s they acquired the ruins of a farmhouse in Provence. She is currently engaged in setting up an archive of twentieth-century English literature for the Stephen Spenderís authorised biographer, John Sutherland.

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