Sir William Temple


Sir William Temple (1628-1699) English statesman, diplomat, and author, born in London, and came of an old English family, but of the younger branch of it, which had for some time been settled in Ireland. Famously married to Dorothy Osborne, after a career as a diplomat he retired to his home More Park in Surrey in the 1680s and devoted his time to writing. His Upon the Gardens of Epicurus, published in 1685, described the Chinese way of laying out grounds, an irregular style ‘without any Order or Disposition of Parts’.

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Sir Henry Wotton

Sir Henry Wotton (1568 - 1639) was an English author and diplomat. Educated at Winchester College and at New College, Oxford, after a career in the Diplomatic Service in Italy he returned to London early in 1624 and was installed as provost of Eton College. This office did not resolve his financial problems, and he was on one occasion arrested for debt, but in 1627 he received a pension of £200, and in 1630 this was raised to £500 on the understanding that he should write a history of England.

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Alexander Pope




Alexander Pope (1688-1744) poet and landscape designer, made a significant contribution to the Age of Enlightenment, and came to be seen as the epitome of Britain’s Augustan age of literary eminence. By the eighteenth century, the English garden was tending towards the natural, and topiary fell distinctly out of fashion. Alexander Pope's satire on the subject, On Gardens, published in The Guardian on 29 September 1713, is well-known, but I will repeat it here anyway for those of you who perhaps have not seen it and for those who have,

 it never fails to delight.

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