EDEN, Frederic. A Garden in Venice. Country Life. 1903.
8vo. Original full brown calf, elaborately blindstamped to boards and spine, decorative endpapers; pp. 135, 16 b&w photographic plates, text illustrations and decorations; spine a little rubbed, occasional foxing, very good.
First edition. The author was the great-uncle of the prime minister Sir Anthony Eden and this charming book is the story of his celebrated garden on the Venetian island of Giudecca. Venice is a notoriously difficult place for horticulture, but Eden and his wife Caroline - Gertrude Jekyll's elder sister and a formidable gardener herself - managed to create a beautiful garden, which is fully described here in high Edwardian style. Eden's home is purported to have been the model for the main location in Henry James's story "The Aspern Papers"; certainly, the Garden of Eden, as it inevitably became known, hosted visits by James, as well as Proust, Rilke and Maeterlinck. The kind of visitor that the place attracted is suggested by the fact that Frederick Rolfe, also known as Baron Corvo, once offered his services as a poultry man.