Cover image for Regaining paradise : Englishness and the early garden city movement
Regaining paradise : Englishness and the early garden city movement
Meacham, Standish.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New Haven : Yale University Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
viii, 210 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HT164.G7 M43 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



A consideration of the British social reform movement at the beginning of the 20th century, through the lens of the Garden City Movement. This was a plan to build new communities on open land to provide a healthy, aesthetically pleasing environment free from overcrowding and pollution.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Every discussion of 20th-century city planning soon gets around to Ebeneezer Howard, the London court reporter who originated the concept of the "garden city." There exists a long-running debate over whether Howard's ideas may or may not have engendered today's suburban sprawl. Meacham examines the early years of the garden city movement in England, from 1900 to WW I. As the subtitle suggests, Meacham (emeritus, Univ. of Texas) argues that Howard's "utopian-American-visionary" schemes were co-opted by a conservative, middle-class ideal of rural "Englishness." Yet Meacham's fascinating descriptions of the origins of Letchworth, the first garden city, its architects Barry Parker and Raymond Unwin, and Unwin's later work at Hampstead Garden Suburb could just as well support the conclusion that Howard's visions were clouded by altogether modern financial calculations, plus stubborn working-class objections to living in what Parker and Unwin thought of as "traditional English cottages." Meacham does an excellent job of following all of these strains in garden city development. The book includes 46 high-quality plates of photos and drawings. Highly recommended for all libraries. Upper-division undergraduates and above. J. R. Breihan; Loyola College