Sissinghurst, An Unfinished History by Adam Nicolson
The Quest to Restore a Working Farm at Vita Sackville-West's Legendary Garden

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A fascinating account from award-winning author Adam Nicolson on the history of Nicolson's own national treasure, his family home: Sissinghurst.

Sissinghurst is world famous as a place of calm and beauty, a garden slipped into the ruins of a rose-pink Elizabethan palace. But is it entirely what its creators intended? Has its success over the last thirty years come at a price? Is Sissinghurst everything it could be? The story of this piece of land, an estate in the Weald of Kent, is told here for the first time from the very beginning. Adam Nicolson, who now lives there, has uncovered remarkable new findings about its history as a medieval manor and great sixteenth-century house, from the days of its decline as an eighteenth-century prison to a flourishing Victorian farm and on to the creation, by his grandparents Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson, of a garden in a weed-strewn wreck. Alongside his recovery of the past, Adam Nicolson wanted something else: for the land at Sissinghurst to live again, to become the landscape of orchards, cattle, fruit and sheep he remembered from his boyhood.Could that living frame of a mixed farm be brought back to what had turned into monochrome fields of chemicalised wheat and oilseed rape? Against the odds, he was going to try. Adam Nicolson has always been a passionate writer about landscape and buildings, but this is different. This is the place he wanted to make good again, reconnecting garden, farm and land. More than just a personal biography of a place, this book is the story of taking an inheritance and steering it in a new direction, just as an entrepreneur might take hold of a company, or just as all of us might want to take our dreams and make them real.

About Adam Nicolson

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ADAM NICOLSON is the author of many books on history, travel, and the environment, including Seize the Fire, Quarrel with the King, and the New York Times bestseller God's Secretaries. He is winner of the Royal Society of London's William Heineman Prize and the Ondaatje Prize and lives at Sissinghust Castle in Kent, England.
Published May 6, 2010 by Viking Adult. 352 pages
Genres: Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Nature & Wildlife, Arts & Photography, Professional & Technical, Science & Math, History, Biographies & Memoirs, Travel, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Sissinghurst, An Unfinished History

The Guardian

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Adam Nicolson has different problems from the rest of us.

Sep 27 2008 | Read Full Review of Sissinghurst, An Unfinished H...

The Guardian

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Sissinghurst: An Unfinished History by Adam Nicolson Buy it from the Guardian bookshop Search the Guardian bookshop Adam Nicolson's grandparents were Harold Nicols...

Sep 13 2009 | Read Full Review of Sissinghurst, An Unfinished H...

Denver Post

(Epibase ) Related Articles "Sissinghurst" by Adam Nicolson Devotees of Facebook's Farmville game — or anyone who fantasizes about deep roots and a family homeplace — would love this purportedly little book.

Jun 13 2010 | Read Full Review of Sissinghurst, An Unfinished H...

The National Trust has preserved Sissinghurst as a heritage site but the regulations that Adam comes up against, when he moves his young family into the house on his father's death and first proposes his plan, are hilariously restrictive ("we were to park our car with the exhaust pointing to the ...

Sep 11 2008 | Read Full Review of Sissinghurst, An Unfinished H...

Spectator Book Club

Once, when Adam Nicolson was asked the question ‘will you be writing a family memoir?’, he answered, ‘I think my family is the most memoired family in the history of the universe.

Oct 25 2008 | Read Full Review of Sissinghurst, An Unfinished H...

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