Monday, 1 December 2008

“Gardening in Bewick’s Day.”

The good woman
Originally uploaded by Bewick Society
On Thursday 13th November members of the Bewick Society and of the Northumbria Gardens Trust gathered in the Mining Institute Lecture Theatre to hear Jenny Uglow speak on “Gardening in Bewick’s Day.”
The talk addressed a host of interesting questions. Among them, where did Bewick garden? What did he think about gardening? What did he grow? How much work did Mrs. and the Misses Bewick put in? Did Cherryburn have a garden? What sorts of garden appear in the vignettes? What did Bewick think of the grand gardens of the rich? Did Bewick’s Gateshead house have a smarter garden than the cot on the Forth?
As a prelude to the talk we heard of a letter from a reader of “Nature’s Engraver.” The correspondent drew attention to a passage in the letters of Maria Edgeworth (1767-1849). This will surely feature in a future edition of the Cherryburn Times. Suffice to say it suggests that games of “Spot-the-vignette” or “I-spy-a-Bewick” were common among those first readers of Quadrupeds and British Birds.

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