The Trees on Which the Sun Never Sets: English Landscape Gardens in Britain’s Colonial Territories

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Carol Carpenter
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English Landscape Gardens swept through British estates in the 18th century, and scholars have long agreed that they combined all the aesthetic factors that British elites viewed as ideal. But evidence shows that this new style also transformed the way that these elites viewed and modified their lands in the British colonies. In this great age of expansion, the English Landscape Garden allowed them to create their vision of the ideal landscape, and to assert power within their new colonial landholdings. Regardless of the style’s limitations in these new environments, which prevented its universal adoption, British elites' new conceptions of what was desirable had a surprisingly wide range of impacts in their different colonies—and as we continue to change the environment around us on a scale that has never before been seen, this study of how certain cultural meanings embedded within landscapes can inspire change will help us to better understand the potential magnitude of the land transformations that we are currently engaged in.