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Rosemary Hill, 5 December 1991

Gertrude Jekyll 
by Sally Festing.
Viking, 323 pp., £17.99, October 1991, 0 670 82788 6
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People’s Parks 
by Hazel Conway.
Cambridge, 287 pp., £49.50, August 1991, 0 521 39070 2
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The History of Garden Design: The Western Tradition from the Renaissance to the Present Day 
edited by Monique Mosser and Georges Teyssot.
Thames and Hudson, 543 pp., £45, May 1991, 0 500 01511 2
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... for the biographer is why it took her so long, into her forties, to become a garden designer. Sally Festing convincingly argues that it was not as a second best to painting, as has been suggested, but on this point, as on many others, she otherwise seems to find ‘Gertrude’ (as she boldly calls her) inscrutable. Indeed her subject is often ...

The Limit

Rosemary Hill, 2 November 1995

Christopher Wood: An English Painter 
by Richard Ingleby.
Allison and Busby, 295 pp., £25, May 1995, 0 85031 849 1
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Barbara Hepworth: A Life of Forms 
by Sally Festing.
Viking, 343 pp., £20, May 1995, 0 670 84203 6
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... Hepworth lived to enjoy her retrospective at the Tate and to be a Dame of the British Empire. Yet, Sally Festing tells us, many people felt sorry for her ‘at the end’, and the very end, her death alone in a fire at her studio in Cornwall, was pathetic. The less strong-minded Wood pursued his short, highly-coloured career along a butterfly zigzag from ...

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