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Taking a fresh and original approach to the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth I, this book tells the incredible story of her great passion for gardens, and how the two most powerful men in England during her reign fought a decade-long duel for their queen's affections by creating lavish gardens for her. It chronicles how, in their quest to woo the queen and outdo each other, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and William Cecil, Baron of Burghley, competed for Elizabeth's favor by laying out innovative and extravagant pleasure grounds at their palaces for when she came to visit. As she played one off against the other, they created gorgeous palaces and landscapes that amazed the world. The book also describes how others in England and abroad followed Dudley's and Cecil's leads and how the queen's love of plants made gardeners of courtiers, statesmen, and soldiers. This meticulously researched account reveals how Elizabeth's enthusiasm for horticulture changed the world, encouraging gardeners and designers to create landscapes inspired by the spirit of the Elizabethan garden.
Trea Martyn completed a PhD in 18th-century literature at University College London. She has taught garden history at Birkbeck College, University of London, and landscape history at Central Saint Martinís School of Art in London, and she lectures widely on garden history.