Earthly Joys

Paperback | November 16, 2006

byPhilippa Gregory

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A traveller in a time of discovery, the greatest gardening pioneer of his day, yet a man of humble birth: John Tradescant?s story is a mirror to the extraordinary age in which he lives.

As gardener and confidante to Sir Robert Cecil, Tradescant is well placed to observe the social and political changes that are about to sweep through the kingdom. While his master conjures intrigues at Court, Tradescant designs for him the magnificent garden at Hatfield, scouring the known world for ever more wonderful plants: new varieties of fruit and flower, the first horse chestnuts to be cultivated in England, even larches from Russia.

Moving to the household of the flamboyant Duke of Buckingham, Tradescant witnesses at first hand the growing division between Parliament and the people; and the most loyal of servants must find a way to become an independent squire.

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From the Publisher

A traveller in a time of discovery, the greatest gardening pioneer of his day, yet a man of humble birth: John Tradescant?s story is a mirror to the extraordinary age in which he lives. As gardener and confidante to Sir Robert Cecil, Tradescant is well placed to observe the social and political changes that are about to sweep through t...

Philippa Gregory is an established writer and broadcaster for radio and television. She holds a PhD in eighteenth-century literature from the University of Edinburgh. She lives in the North of England with her family.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:512 pages, 8 × 5.13 × 1.26 inPublished:November 16, 2006Publisher:Harpercollins (uk)Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0007228473

ISBN - 13:9780007228478

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Customer Reviews of Earthly Joys

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous book John Tradescant is an excellent gardener in 1600s England. He serves under a famous Lord who has the King's ear and learns a lot about politics and can do as he wishes in the garden. When his Lord is moved to a new house, Tradescant follows and with his new wages marries his wife, Elizabeth. Elizabeth always feels like second fiddle to her husband's master as he serves his master first, and his family second. They soon have a boy, J, and Elizabeth gets even more upset at John serving his master first. After his Lord dies, John is put under the service of the Duke of Buckingham who is a beautiful man and a favourite to the King and Prince. John follows every order from Buckingham, including when he is sent away from home to do his bidding and find new plants. Buckingham calls for John more and more often, and John adores him more each time he is called. Elizabeth wants this to end but John can't put her before his master. This is the first Philippa Gregory book I've read and I really enjoyed it. She perfectly brings to life that time frame and gives characters that weren't necessarily historical figures a life of their own. John Tradescant really was a gardener to the Duke, and through Gregory's eyes and some small facts known about him, he is brought to life, which makes for a page turning read. There's a sequel to this book which I'm looking forward to reading!
Date published: 2011-08-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wonderful This is the story of a very famous gardener, John Tradescant who was a gardener to some famous people during the reign of James I and Charles I. John is in the employ of Robert Cecil, building the gardens of Hatfield House and he is very close – a confidante and friend – to the great man. John loves travelling the world in search of new species of plants. After Cecil dies, John moves around from master to master until he is ordered to the new and fabulous estate of George Villiers – first Duke of Buckingham, the most powerful man in the land. The Duke of Buckingham becomes the lover of Charles I. John is a product of his times and loyalty is everything. John ends up loving his new master. John's personal life is turned upside down by this charismatic and reckless and hated person. Gregory has written a brilliant novel about this period just before civil war. Definitely another winner from Gregory!
Date published: 2010-11-28