May 19, 2013
Add a message
"The Hermit in the Garden" by Gordon Campbell
The British gentry hired live hermits in the 18th century to live in places like this one in Foremark.
The tradition extended all the way back to the Roman Empire, when the emperor Hadrian built himself a miniature villa on a tiny island near his palace.
Gordon Campbell, a professor at the University of Leicester, has traced the history and lasting influence of perhaps the strangest trend in the history of landscaping.
The hermit, Campbell argues in his book, was a public symbol of an emotion that we have since learned to bury: melancholy.
Subtle relics exist today in the form of hidden benches positioned for intimate conversation and even — most literally — garden gnomes.
Subscriber Log In
Forgot your password?
Home delivery subscribers get free access. Link Account
Customer Service Number: 1.888.MY.GLOBE
Receive free unlimited access to BostonGlobe.com for the next two weeks! Get access
Enter your e-mail address below. We’ll send you an e-mail with a link to reset your password.
Return to login
Continue reading by subscribing to BostonGlobe.com for just 99¢.