Virgin Earth

Virgin Earth

Book - 1999
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Sequel to the outstanding historical novel Earthly Joys, and written by the bestselling Philippa Gregory, the author of The Other Boleyn Girl and The Virgin's Lover. John Tradescant the Younger has inherited his father's unique collection of plants along with his unerring ability to nurture them. But as gardener to Charles I, he confronts an unbearable dilemma when England descends into Civil War. Fleeing from the chaos, John travels to the Royalist colony of Virginia in America. But the virgin land is not uninhabited. John's plant hunting brings him to live with the native people, and he learns to love and respect their way of life just as it is threatened by the colonial settlers. In the new world and the old, the established order is breaking down and every family has to find its own way of surviving. For the Tradescants, through the upheavals of the Commonwealth and the Restoration, this means consolidating their reputations as the greatest gardeners in the country.
Publisher: HarperCollins, 1999.
ISBN: 9780007228485
9780002257596
0002257599
Branch Call Number: FICTION GRE

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r
ryner
Apr 25, 2008

This sequel to Earthly Joys focuses on John Tradescant (the younger), gardener to the King of England during the tumultuous reign of Charles I. Desiring merely to garden rather than take sides between the king and parliament, he sails to Virginia to gather new and exotic plants for his collection. There, assisted by a young Powhatan girl, he finds himself drawn into this virgin land's raw beauty. When the natives and the new English settlers go to war, John finds himself pressured once again to take sides in a conflict he wants nothing to do with, and must decide who he really is.

I greatly enjoy Gregory's prose, and never fail to get sucked into the period ? this book is no exception. Some of John's relationships are unsatisfactory, and the ending is heartbreaking. I was inspired to learn more about Mr. Tradescant and his minor role in history.

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