David Bawden deposited ‘In this book-making age’: Edward Kemp (1817-91) as writer and communicator of horticultural knowledge [extended version] on Humanities Commons 3 years, 7 months ago
Edward Kemp, although best known as a park superintendent and as a designer of parks and gardens, was also an influential and best-selling author. His How to Lay out a Garden, running into several editions, is the best known and most influential of his written works, but there were others, notably editions of the Hand-Book of Gardening, and Parks, Gardens etc. of London and its Suburbs, the first ever such regional survey. He assisted Joseph Paxton with the editing of his publications, and was a regular and thoughtful contributor to magazines, most notably the Gardeners’ Chronicle, where his critiques, such as that of the then new gardens of Biddulph Grange, received considerable attention. He, along with John Gibson and Edward Milner, was one the protégées of Joseph Paxton who did so much for the dissemination of horticultural knowledge, as authors, editors and compilers, in the midst of the nineteenth century communications revolution. It will consider Kemp’s role and influence as an innovative writer and disseminator, considering the structure, format, content, and reception of his published work, his relationship with his publishers, and his place in the Victorian information world.
This extended version of the article has some added material on Kemp’s life and work, additional remarks on analogies with present day gardening writers, additional links to digitised versions of original materials, and extra images.