John Evelyn

(1620 - 1706)

John Evelyn was the author of more than thirty books, but his most lasting literary work was a diary he kept for most of his life, which provides in-depth details of the doings of a well-to-do man in seventeenth-century England. An enthusiast of gardening and forestry, Evelyn designed several pleasure gardens, including a famed garden at Sayes Court. “We will endeavor to show,” he wrote to Thomas Browne, “how the air and genius of gardens operate upon human spirits toward virtue and sanctity.”

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