“The Summer of 1911”*

*first chapter of **Juliet Nicolson’s The Perfect Summer: dancing into shadow in 1911 (2006)

“…During long lazy afternoons in hammocks that summer of 1911 the pampered guests looked forward to reading aloud from the caricaturist and wit Max Beerbohm’s just-published romance Zuleika Dobson, a love story about a group of young men fated to die as a consequence of misplaced idealism. E.M. Forster, whose own novel Howards End had been a bestseller only the year before, found in Beerbohm’s story “a beauty unattainable by serious literature”. Maurice Baring, another young novelist, described how in the afternoons the gilded youth “moved in muslin and straw hats and yellow roses on the lawns of gardens designed by #Le Notre…”

Nicholas Lezard‘s review of Nicolson’s book for The Guardian on 21.7.2007 opened:

“The line from The Go-Between about the past being a foreign country is too familiar to bear repetition, and Juliet Nicolson doesn’t quote it; but she was reading that novel when she had the idea for this book. “I wanted to evoke the full vivid richness of how it smelt, looked, sounded, tasted and felt to be alive in England during the months of such a summer.”

She’s succeeded, and remarkably well.”

Lezard’s review closes:

The only omission that springs to mind is that of Saki. His Chronicles of Clovis was published in 1911, his stories were in the popular domain; why’s he not here? Well, it’s not a huge drawback. Just about everyone else is.

**great granddaughter of Vita Sackville-West

From Wikipedia:

“#André Le Nôtre; 12 March 1613 – 15 September 1700), originally rendered as André Le Nostre, was a French landscape architect and the principal gardener of King Louis XIV of France. Most notably, he was the landscape architect who designed the park of the Palace of Versailles, and his work represents the height of the French formal garden style, or jardin à la française.

Prior to working on Versailles, Le Nôtre collaborated with Louis Le Vau and Charles Le Brun on the park at Vaux-le-Vicomte. His other works include the design of gardens and parks at Chantilly, Fontainebleau, Saint-Cloud and Saint-Germain. His contribution to planning was also significant: at the Tuileries he extended the westward vista, which later became the avenue of the Champs-Élysées and comprise the Axe historique.”