1: Origins and Antecedents 2: The Idea of the Hermit 3: The Hermits 4: The Hermitage in Georgian England 5: The Hermitage in the Celtic Lands 6: The Afterlife of the Hermit Appendix 1: a Catalogue of Hermitages Appendix 2: The Hermit and the Hermitage on the Continent Works Consulted Index
Gordon Campbell is Professor of Renaissance Studies at the University of Leicester. He is the author of the best-selling Bible: The Story of the King James Bible and of many other books on literature, art, history, and biography. A fellow of the British Academy and a former chair of the Society for Renaissance Studies, in 2012 he was awarded the Longman - History Today Trustees Award for a lifetime contribution to History. In this book his interests in cultural history, architectural history, and designed landscapes converge in a pioneering study of the phenomenon of the English ornamental hermit and his hermitage.
`One of those books which will continue to resonate in the mind long after its covers are closed... Campbell illuminates something immensely serious dwelling inside something you might at first have thought about was delight and diversion. And that is a triumphant thing to have carried off.' Adam Nicolson, author of Sissinghurst: An Unfinished History `[A] rollicking new history...a book for the enrichment of all our lives.' The Daily Telegraph `The delicious subtitle of this fine little study - From Imperial Rome to Ornamental Gnome - catches its tone perfectly. Gordon Campbell treats the topic with the seriousness and attention to detail one expects of a scholar, but he never falls into the academic's trap of assuming his readers are would-be hermit scholars.' Country Life `[An] engaging study of one of the oddest fads in garden design.' Charles Elliott, Literary Review `[An] intriguing book.' The Lady `A slim but fact-and-fun-and-idea-filled volume ... an unmitigated pleasure to read.' Hortus