Elizabeth in the Garden

Written by Trea Martyn
Review by Ann Oughton

The grand gardens of the Elizabethan era with their mazes, lakes and burgeoning flower beds were not imagined merely for pleasure but as a means of advancing the careers of their creators. Elizabeth’s favourite, Robert Dudley and her Lord Treasurer, William Cecil were bitter rivals each going to extraordinary lengths to impress their queen and win her favour. As Dudley spent his energies and money in his quest to woo Elizabeth, Cecil concentrated on thwarting Dudley’s plans.

This is Trea Martyn’s first book, and her research is impeccable. As she delves into the archives and visits the Elizabethan houses she brings to life, not a distant queen but the woman Elizabeth taking her daily exercise, ‘in the most sensational gardens ever seen in England… a place of pleasure, a multi-sensory experience.’ Trea Martyn’s easy writing style and imaginative descriptions make this an absolute jewel of a book.