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Head of Zeus
Stourhead: Henry Hoare's Paradise Revisited Dudley Dodd, foreword by James Stourton

'Brings both house and garden vividly to life ... A magnificent achievement' Gardens Illustrated

'A finely crafted work ... it is an important record of the history of one of the country's most splendid estates' The English Garden

The Palladian house of Stourhead, in Wiltshire, occupies a plateau above the confluence of three valleys. When you cross the south lawn and descend the tree-hung slopes, you glimpse a lake adorned with classical temples. Continue and you will find an allegorical grotto; a gothick hideaway; a Pantheon of demi-gods and, on high, a deserted temple to Apollo. To the west Alfred's Tower commands views over three counties, a gaunt landmark to English monarchy and patriotism.

This is how in Georgian times Henry Hoare – known as Henry the Magnificent – would have explored the garden he designed. Generations of the Hoare family, bankers who combined service with enlightened patronage and philanthropy, have developed and cultivated the garden at Stourhead, and for many its breathtaking vistas are paradise.

Dudley Dodd charts the owners of Stourhead and the history of the landscape, house and art collection. He describes how flights of folly, individual flair, taste and careful stewardship have nurtured a national treasure, which is among the finest English landscape gardens and, since 1946, a jewel of The National Trust. The stunning new pictures by the renowned photographer Marianne Majerus provide an up to date record of this enduring Elysium.

Head of Zeus, an Apollo book * Gardening
14 Oct 2021 * 320pp * £9.99 * 9781788543613
'Brings both house and garden vividly to life ... It makes for a gripping family saga. What is wonderful about this book is its range [...] and Dodd is especially good at setting the garden in context. A magnificent achievement'
Gardens Illustrated
'Dodd [is] meticulous and skilful. This is a finely crafted work and its telling illuminated by magnificent images of the property. It makes a wonderful addition to a library but it is also an important record of the history of one of the country's most splendid estates'
The English Garden
'Dudley Dodd captures the beauty and history of the Palladian jewel in Wiltshire and its colourful owners, the Hoares, who acquired the house in 1717 and used their wealth, creativity and taste to nurture the fine gardens we see today'
Daily Mail
'It is rare to find a book which is as scholarly as it is beautiful yet Roman Splendour, English Arcadia is a triumphant exception [...] based on meticulous analyses of the object and of archival and literary sources'
The Art Newspaper, on Roman Splendour, English Arcadia
Dudley Dodd
Dudley Dodd
Dudley Dodd visited Stourhead for the first time in 1973. While serving with the National Trust he wrote guidebooks of its houses in the South West and has subsequently contributed articles to scholarly periodicals. He edited The Letters of Henry Hoare 1760–1781 and collaborated with Simon Swynfen Jervis on Roman Splendour, English Arcadia, a study of the Sixtus Cabinet, the pietre dure masterpiece at Stourhead.
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