Voltaire’s Vine and Other Philosophies: How Gardens Inspired Great Writers by Damon Young - review by Miranda Seymour

Miranda Seymour

Seeds of Thought

Voltaire’s Vine and Other Philosophies: How Gardens Inspired Great Writers

By

Random House 200pp £12.99 order from our bookshop
 

When plotting out the structure of an essay, a chapter or even a book, nothing banishes distractions from the writer’s mind so effectively as some form of rhythmic exercise. Walking through London did the trick for Dickens, and England’s beaches, rivers, lanes and landscapes have seeded a veritable kingdom of poems, plays and novels, but there’s always the temptation for us lesser souls to look about and start thinking of something closer to home. Gardening, perhaps…

Active gardening – spade and shovel stuff of the kind that Leonard Woolf took refuge in – is only one of the horticultural paths along which the philosopher Damon Young encourages the reader to wander in this agreeable little book about the influence of gardens upon their literary or philosophical

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