2022 Speaker Series: Gardening in the Elizabethan Era

2022-01-24 6.30pm 7.30pm

In this talk, Spencer W. Stuart will discuss one of the first books published in English on gardening, Thomas Hill’s ‘A Most Briefe and Pleasaunte Treatise, Teaching How to Dresse, Sowe, and Set a Garden’ (1563).

A product of Elizabethan Period, Hill’s book offered a compendium of tools as well as techniques from beekeeping to making flower beds. Evidence of its popularity can be seen in the many reprints throughout the 16th Century under the title of ‘The Profitable Arte of Gardening’.

Hill went on to publish yet another successful book on gardening in 1577, The Gardener’s Labyrinth. Although little is known about Hill, his efforts inspired a genre of ‘how to’ garden literature throughout the 16th and 17th Centuries, which would have an impact on the early history of the English Garden tradition that endures to this day.



About the speaker:

Spencer W. Stuart holds a master’s degree in the History of Art from the Courtauld Institute in London, England (recipient of the Director’s Award). Upon graduation, he took a position with Bonhams Auctioneers where he worked closely with the North American Rare Books and Manuscripts Department in Toronto and New York.

Spencer now provides advisory services to private collectors as well as institutions aiding in the design and execution of collection development, management and deaccession strategies.

In concert with his advising, Spencer is an active writer and lecturer on histories of the printed word for a variety of publications including The Book Collector and Amphora as well as with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

For more information, see spencerwstuart.ca