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The Garden Against Time with Olivia Laing

8 May @ 7:00 pm 9:00 pm

The Garden Against Time with Olivia Laing

Mr B’s are delighted to welcome prize-winning writer Olivia Laing to talk about her brand new book, The Garden Against Time, a compelling exploration of the significance of gardens – real and imagined – and the sometimes shocking cost of making paradise on earth. 

About the Book:

In 2020, Olivia Laing began to restore a walled garden in Suffolk, an overgrown Eden of unusual plants. The work drew her into an exhilarating investigation of paradise and its long association with gardens. Moving between real and imagined gardens, from Milton’s Paradise Lost to John Clare’s enclosure elegies, from a wartime sanctuary in Italy to a grotesque aristocratic pleasure ground funded by slavery, Laing interrogates the sometimes shocking cost of making paradise on earth.

But the story of the garden doesn’t always enact larger patterns of privilege and exclusion. It’s also a place of rebel outposts and communal dreams. From the improbable queer utopia conjured by Derek Jarman on the beach at Dungeness to the fertile vision of a common Eden propagated by William Morris, new modes of living can and have been attempted amidst the flower beds, experiments that could prove vital in the coming era of climate change.

The result is a beautiful and exacting account of the abundant pleasures and possibilities of gardens: not as a place to hide from the world but as a site of encounter and discovery, bee-loud and pollen-laden.

‘What a wonderful book this is. I loved the enchanting and beautifully written story but also the fascinating and thoughtful excursions along the way.’ – Nigel Slater

About the Author:

Olivia Laing is a widely acclaimed writer and critic. She’s the author of seven books, including To the RiverThe Trip to Echo SpringThe Lonely City, and Everybody. She’s a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and in 2018 was awarded the Windham-Campbell Prize for non-fiction. 

Charlotte Street
Bath, BANES BA1 2ND United Kingdom
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