Book Review: The Parks, Gardens etc. of London and its Suburbs

The Parks, Gardens, Etc., of London and Its Suburbs, Described and Illustrated for the Guidance of Strangers was written in 1923 by Edward Kamp. The book was recently reprinted, and while much of the information is out of date, the illustrated maps and drawings in it are timeless and still as appealing today as they were 90 years ago.
The book is considered to be a culturally important work, and will be of interest to Britons as well as people who appreciate English culture and architecture. Historians will enjoy seeing how the landscape has changed, and comparing the surviving gardens as they are today to the ones from the early 20th century.

Illustrated gardens London

Illustrated gardens London


Because of the sheer number of illustrations in this book, it is not currently available in Kindle format, although that may change now that the Kindle Fire is becoming popular. The re-released edition of the book from 2010 is paperback format, and is a faithful reproduction, not a poor quality OCR scan.
Kemp published many books about landscape gardening, as well as design for large estates and smaller suburban properties. He was a prolific author and his books were known for their detail, quality instructions and fine presentation. Most of Kemps other books were not illustrated, but this one provides a great insight into early 20th century London, and how it recovered from World War 1.
If you have a love for gardening, or simply appreciate classical illustrations then this book is well worth a look. If you can find one of the early 1920s prints of the title, you should look after it carefully because it is highly collectible.
Quality illustrated parks and gardens books are hard to find today, with photographers moving most of their work online. To see such a beautiful book produced so long ago is incredibly impressive.

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