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Music-making in London's Pleasure Gardens

Pleasure Gardens volumeProfessor Rachel Cowgill joins musicologists, art historians and scholars of urban studies and landscape design for the first book-length cultural history of pleasure gardens.

The new volume, edited by Dr Jonathan Conlin (University of Southampton), draws the contributors together to look at the attractions and interactions of the pleasure garden, from the opening of London’s Vauxhall pleasure garden in the eighteenth century to the amusement parks of the early twentieth.

Vauxhall, a must-see for both Londoners and tourists, was the venue that made the careers of composers, inspired novelists, and showcased the work of artists.

Professor Cowgill’s chapter is titled ‘Performance Alfresco: Music-Making in London’s Pleasure Gardens.’
The volume’s nine essays explore the mutual influences of human behaviour and design: landscape, painting, sculpture, and even light and music tacitly informed visitors how to move within the space, what to wear, how to behave, and where they might transgress.

The Pleasure Garden, from Vauxhall to Coney Island is published on 19 October 2012 by the University of Pennsylvania Press as part of its Penn Studies in Landscape Architecture series.