Hardie, Alison

There are many books published in English on Chinese gardens, but the majority are primarily picture books with little informative content. With a large number of illustrations of Chinese gardens, ancient paintings, block prints, and other artefacts, this book is a social history of Chinese gardens and focuses on how gardens have functioned and been used in Chinese society through the ages.

Apart from the aesthetic or philosophical aspects of Chinese gardens, you may see how gardens functioned as real estate, how they gave opportunities of employment to skilled artisans, how they opened up outdoor space to both elite and lower-class women, and how they allowed men of different social classes and of different ethnicities to interact and gain mutual benefit; in short, how the existence of gardens exerted an influence on society as a whole.

At the same time, the reader can find how the wider society, and even socio-economic changes beyond China’s own borders, had an impact on how gardens in China developed

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SKU: 35586 Categories: , , ,


Shanghai Press, October 2022.  160 pages, paperback, colour photographs, colour illustrations throughout.