Icon - Arrow LeftAn icon we use to indicate a rightwards action. Icon - Arrow RightAn icon we use to indicate a leftwards action. Icon - External LinkAn icon we use to indicate a button link is external. Icon - MessageThe icon we use to represent an email action. Icon - Down ChevronUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - CloseUsed to indicate a close action. Icon - Dropdown ArrowUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - Location PinUsed to showcase a location on a map. Icon - Zoom OutUsed to indicate a zoom out action on a map. Icon - Zoom InUsed to indicate a zoom in action on a map. Icon - SearchUsed to indicate a search action. Icon - EmailUsed to indicate an emai action. Icon - FacebookFacebooks brand mark for use in social sharing icons. flipboard Icon - InstagramInstagrams brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - PinterestPinterests brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - TwitterTwitters brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - Check MarkA check mark for checkbox buttons.
You are reading

Required Reading: Little Sparta, in Words and Pictures

Search

Required Reading: Little Sparta, in Words and Pictures

January 21, 2013

“As public sex was embarrassing to the Victorians, public classicism is to us,” wrote the poet Ian Hamilton Finlay. By “us,” he meant you and me, of course–but never himself. The proof of his devotion to ancient Rome is evident on every one of the 334 lovingly photographed pages of Little Sparta: The Garden of Ian Hamilton Finlay.

Photographs by Andrew Lawson.

Above: Author Jessie Sheeler and photographer Andrew Lawson teamed up to tell the remarkable story of how one of the 20th century’s great writers was also the age’s greatest poet gardener. “Composition is a forgotten Art,” Finlay wrote, even as he was rediscovering it on his own land.

Above: Having created what the New York Times described as “an imaginative echo of ancient Rome in the Pentland Hills of Lanarkshire,” Finlay died in 2006 at the age of 80.

Above: You can visit Finlay’s garden at Little Sparta, open to the public in warm months, if you have sturdy boots and are willing to hike a half mile up the road from where you’ll have to leave the car.

Above: Or you can visit it vicariously; Little Sparta: The Garden of Ian Hamilton Finlay is $45 from Amazon. For more, see “The Poet and his Garden: Ian Hamilton Finlay in Scotland.”

Product summary  

Have a Question or Comment About This Post?

Join the conversation

v5.0