Henrietta St. John was born in 1699 into a world of wealth, privilege and seeming security. Raised in the heart of Hogarthian London and at Lydiard, her ancestral home, she grew into a headstrong woman of letters who numbered Pope, Swift, and Johnson among her acquaintances. Yet with more wit than was good for a woman of her time, Henrietta was not the easiest of daughters to marry off. And when she finally succumbed, it was to a troubled marriage from which she was soon banished to the wilds of Warwickshire, accused of infidelity by her pompous husband. Rather than moulder in her country exile, however, Henrietta sustained herself with her gardens - landscapes that won her an eccentric and enchanting company of friends and that now shape Jane Brown's biography. By the time she became Lady Luxborough, the irrepressible Henrietta could be credited with the possession of one of the finest romantic sensibilities and a tumultuous life story that reveals an intricate portrait of 18th-century culture and aristocracy.
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