chapter  1
13 Pages

Introduction

The Garden at the Intersection of Pleasure, Contemplation, and Cure
WithPatricia Skinner, Theresa Tyers

This introductory chapter sets out the purpose of the book and surveys previous historiography on the medieval and early modern garden, particularly in British contexts. It particularly explores definitions of the garden as a liminal space between the house (or castle or monastery) and the broader landscape, the multiple purposes of gardening, and the evidence that survives for physical and imaginary gardens. It then introduces each of the chapters and emphasizes the relevance of engaging with the premodern as a way of reconnecting with the environment and issues of well-being in the present day.