Reviews

Extracts from some appreciations of the New Arcadian Journal

The Times, Stephen Anderton (2012):

There is no better place to under­stand the late 20th-century love of gar­den restoration than the NAJ issue 67/68, “Painshill Park: The Pioneer­ing Restoration”, a compendium of essays by experts. One remarkable piece, by Mavis Batey, former chairman of the Garden History Society and Bletchley Park code-cracker, sets out exactly how attitudes to the great gar­dens have changed since the 1970s, when they were regarded as culturally expendable, and what efforts it took to find them political protection … The New Arcadian Journal uses a gen­erous number of imaginative, charac­terful line drawings, rather than photo­graphs … It is a wonderful relief from the universal glitz of modern garden photography … It is the writing and the thinking that count, without the distractions of full colour. [See more from The Times]

Garden History, David Lambert (2012):

With their gorgeous coloured covers and unique combination of artist-illustrations and scholarly texts, the journals are unique in garden publishing. If the New Arcadian Journal has had a mission in its garden history, it is to convey the simple truth that gardens cannot be dissociated from their context, neither historical nor contemporary. The latest offering, inspired by the restoration of the Blackamoor statue at Wentworth Castle in South Yorkshire, addresses the evolution of that figure and explores the implications for our understanding of eighteenth-century gardens. [See more from Garden History]

BASA Newsletter 62, Kathleen Chater (2012):

The NAJ investigates the cultural politics of historical landscapes by scrutinising their architecture, gardens, monuments and sculptures. This volume (69/70, 2011) will add both to what we know and what we understand about the slave trade in the eighteenth century and how contemporaries regarded it. Other volumes in the series consider aspects of commerce and empire as they were reflected in landscape gardens, so will also provide background information. [See more from BASA]

The Yorkshire Post Magazine, Fiona Russell (2012):

The NAJ approaches landscape gardens as their creators did, as theatres of ideas, firmly embedded in the political and cultural debates of their times. Those debates are explored rigorously, but with a welcome light touch, and, where appropriate, the NAJ unites the gardens and their preoccupations with our own political and cultural concerns. The result is a creative fusion which is perhaps most evident in the artwork. [See more from the YPM page]

The Bucks Gardener 31/32, Sarah Rutherford (2011):

Many beguiling original illustrations (67/68, 2010) … and a variety of thoughtful and thought-provoking papers … Hooray for the NAJ.

The Times Literary Supplement, Jennifer Potter (2008):

The feisty, visually distinctive and intellectually robust New Arcadian Journal … is refreshingly original in its determination to offer a modern and highly particular reading of old landscapes … Image and text confidently complement each other … The NAJ is a tribute to Eyres’s energy and confidence in his own vision … [It] has found a place in the literary landscape, and made us all the richer. [See More from the TLS page].

The Arcadian Friends, Tim Richardson (Bantam, 2007):

Patrick Eyres has pioneered the study of the politics of gardens, and I would like to acknowledge and recommend the New Arcadian Journal which he founded and edits.

The British Library, ‘The Writer in the Garden’, Exhibition (2004-2005):

The New Arcadian Journals … are distinguished by the quality of their design, which cleverly integrates text and image, and by the thought provoking nature of their content. The aim of the Press ‘to generate a continuous programme of artistic, scholarly and poetic research into cultural landscape’ is successfully fulfilled in its successful appraisals of historical gardens, parks and estates, and the more lyrical or polemical contemporary response to a more general sense of ‘place’.

The Follies Journal, Tom Williamson (2003):

The New Arcadian Journal looks like a limited-edition fine art book, with striking illustrations and stylish print face … is refreshing and exciting … [and] belies a content more firmly rooted in the normal conventions of academia …  Each of the articles is well written, informative and original … slightly quirky, erudite and fresh … Particular praise must go to the artists whose line drawings ~ original, usually informative, sometimes evocative, occasionally just odd ~ help to give the volume its distinctive feel. The editor’s evident enthusiasm for strongly themed, coherent volumes also marks the a good read and a stimulating experience.

Parenthesis, Fine Press Book Association, Jack Chesterman (2001):

The New Arcadian Press has through its Journals produced a remarkable body of work which enables us to see our man-made and natural landscapes with new eyes and insights … The New Arcadian Journals are witness to the fact that when a generosity of co-participation occurs, remarkable fusions of concept and outcome can result … The external appearance of the New Arcadian Journals and Broadsheets is one of quiet and simple elegance. Text and imagery comfortably occupy unfussy layouts. Tricksy typography and self-conscious design are nowhere in evidence and the material properly speaks more loudly than its presentation … These are chunky, purposeful volumes. While small enough to fit in a knapsack or poacher’s pocket for the explorer and journeyman, they have the weight and physical presence to ensure a sense of occasion for the fire hugging historian or armchair traveller.

Garden History News, Peter Hayden (2000):

We can have the pleasure of reading, and of just looking at … the latest volume of the New Arcadian Journal, which, as usual, is handsomely and imaginatively produced. The excellent text … is enhanced by black-and-white illustrations. ~ The New Arcadian Journal makes us think more deeply about the original intentions of the creators of parks and gardens.

See Bibliography for a list of selected review articles since 1981.