Rousham is a place to go to and imagine it is yours.
Built in 1738, it embodies the poetic and philosophical ideas of its age. As Joseph Addison so eloquently said at the time, it is ‘a whole estate thrown into a kind of garden.’
The designer William Kent, playing with perspective by ‘delusional comparison,’ placed an eye-catcher in a distant farmer’s field. This faux arch was intended to ‘catch the eye’ and so extend the perceived boundaries of the space. A small garden became large.
In The Insistent Garden, Edith Stoker’s world was but a small garden, restricted by circumstance and the force of oppressive personalities, yet perhaps there was something on her horizon– waiting to catch her eye.