Join Kate as she explores the story of breath-taking ambition, of scientific discovery and, crucially, of the remarkable men whose vision it was. A Sunday Times Gardening Book of the Year 2020.
Venue: Hylands House, London Road, Writtle, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 8WQ
Tickets: £10 / £8 concessions (Students, Under 27s and Jobseekers)
Date and time: Sunday 19th June, 3.30pm
Box Office: Book online or via Mercury Theatre 01206 573948 (10am – 8pm Tuesday to Saturday)
Free Parking: Car parking is included in the ticket price. Please register your car on arrival at Hylands House. Please note Hylands Estate are not able to refund car parking charges if you have already paid.
Daringly innovative when it opened in 1848, the Palm House in Kew Gardens remains one of the most beautiful glass buildings in the world today.
Seemingly weightless, vast and yet light, the Palm House floats free from architectural convention, at once monumental and ethereal. From a distance, the crowns of the palms within are silhouetted in the central dome; close to, banana leaves thrust themselves against the glass. To enter it is to enter a tropical fantasy. The body is assaulted by heat, light, and the smell of damp vegetation.
In Palace of Palms, Kate Teltscher tells the extraordinary story of its creation and of the Victorians’ obsession with the palms that filled it. It is a story of breath-taking ambition, of scientific discovery and, crucially, of the remarkable men whose vision it was. The Palm House was commissioned by the charismatic first Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Sir William Hooker, designed by the audacious Irish engineer, Richard Turner, and managed by RBG Kew’s forthright curator, John Smith, who battled with boilers and floods to ensure the survival of the rare and wondrous plants it housed.
‘A fascinating and rip-roaring account of the building of one of the great –and experimental – glass buildings of the Victorian age.’ Daily Telegraph
Kate Teltscher is an Emeritus Fellow of the School of Humanities at the University of Roehampton, Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and Visiting Researcher at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. As a cultural historian, her research has focused on colonial contact between Britain and Asia and she is the author of two acclaimed books, India Inscribed: European and British Writing on India, 1600-1800 and The High Road to China: George Bogle, the Panchen Lama and the First British Expedition to Tibet, which was shortlisted for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Biography. She lives in south-west London with her family.