Date of Award:
Master of Arts (MA)
Jane Webb Loudon, wife of eminent horticulturist and landscape architect John Claudius Loudon, has been largely ignored by historians and literary critics. Yet in her brief career she produced some of the most practical and influential gardening works of the early nineteenth-century. Beginning with Gardening for Ladies in 1840, Loudon published seventeen books and edited two magazines on gardening, botany, and natural history, most of them specifically directed to a female audience. These books would educate an entirely new class of gardeners, and allow women in particular to engage not only with gardening, but also with aesthetics, social reform, morality, empire, and ecology. To accomplish this task, Loudon adopts a masculine scientific discourse and demonstrates a conspicuous lack of sentimental language. She grafts gardening onto a range of activities considered acceptable for females, showing how it would actually help females care for their homes and families, honor the country and empire, and better care for the poor.
Towers, Kelli Lee, "The Labour of Her Own Hands: Nineteenth Century Gardening Discourses and the Work of Jane Webb Loudon" (2006). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 7962.
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