Grass and its organisation into lawns is a particularly English obsession.
Tom Fort traces the history of lawns from the first mention (Henry III) through famous lawns to the present day, interspersed with his own efforts over the year of the book in creating the perfect lawn.
The English are universally acknowledged to be the lawn creators, coming up with most of the games based on grass, as well as the original grass-cutting machines. The inventor, Edwin Budding, is one of the heroes of the book.
Another interesting aspect of grass is that it is almost entirely a male concern. Tom Fort’s delightful book is an examination of the psychology of the lawnmower, and includes interviews with key obsessive lawnmakers of today.
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‘Delights at every turn… few can match his effortless essay style.’
If the Englishman's house is his castle, then his lawn is most certainly his estate. Occupying a place in the national psyche comparable to that of afternoon tea, the English concept of the ideal lawn has evolved and altered almost beyond recognition since its first mention in the time of Henry III. Tom Fort traces how the aesthetics of the lawn, with its connotations of Eden, have been redefined over time.
There has been a peculiar 'Englishness' about the lawn and the rituals surrounding its care. Traditionally it has been seen as a reflection of its owner's character and status. It has aroused the wonder of the rest of the civilised world, and the Americans have fused to their conception of suburban bliss the ideal of the impeccable manicured lawn.
This social history of grass is further enlivened by an introduction to the creator of the first lawnmower, Edwin Budding, by discussions with contemporary lawnsmen, and by witnessing the author's attempt to create his own perfect lawn.
Over its history the lawn has been seen by some as an indicator of moral worth; by others as a symbol of tyranny. It is also a peculiarly masculine domain, and in this delightful book, Tom Fort reveals the psychology of the men who mow lawns with wry insight.
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Book Description HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS LTD, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 2570645