Regaining Paradise: Englishness and the Early Garden City Movement

Overview

This engaging book considers the British social reform movement at the beginning of the twentieth century through the lens of the garden city movement, a plan to build new communities on open land that would provide a healthy, aesthetically pleasing environment free from overcrowding and pollution. Standish Meacham argues that although the garden city movement initially embodied radical schemes for the reformation of society, it became in the hands of its upper-middle-class proponents a device for maintaining the...

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Overview

This engaging book considers the British social reform movement at the beginning of the twentieth century through the lens of the garden city movement, a plan to build new communities on open land that would provide a healthy, aesthetically pleasing environment free from overcrowding and pollution. Standish Meacham argues that although the garden city movement initially embodied radical schemes for the reformation of society, it became in the hands of its upper-middle-class proponents a device for maintaining the established order in the face of threatening social change. In the complex clash between conservative and progressive impulses among garden city proponents, conservatism ultimately prevailed.

Meacham shows that even socialist architects closely associated with the movement and its most famous prewar projects at Letchworth and Hampstead relied for inspiration on the villages of England’s pre-industrial squirearchy. The result was the reaffirmation of a particular concept of Englishness that influenced both social policy and urban design.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300191493
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 5/11/1999
  • Pages: 268
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

Standish Meacham is Sheffield Centennial Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin.

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 Introduction: The Matter of Englishness 1
2 Bournville and Port Sunlight: The Exemplars 11
3 Ebenezer Howard and the Garden City Association 44
4 Barry Parker and Raymond Unwin: Principles and Practice 70
5 Letchworth: Best Laid Plans 95
6 Letchworth: "The Spirit of the Place," 123
7 Suburban High-Mindedness at Hampstead 146
8 Epilogue 178
Notes 185
Index 205
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