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date: 25 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter presents an overview of the design and experience of gardens in Shakespeare’s England. It focuses on key examples, from Hampton Court Palace, laid out by Henry VIII from the 1530s, to Henry, Prince of Wales’s Italianate garden at Richmond Palace, which was never completed due to his premature death in 1612. As well as providing a selective design history, the chapter seeks to reconstruct contemporary attitudes to landscape design during Shakespeare’s period through comparing actual gardens with literary ones such as Spenser’s ‘Bower of Bliss’ in The Faerie Queene. It is argued that two neglected themes emerge from this comparison: first, the potentially negative connotations of the concept of the enchanted garden and, second, the cultural significance of the representation of monsters in Renaissance landscape design.

Keywords: gardens, enchantment, monsters, Renaissance, Shakespeare, Spenser

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