The Garden Guide

Gothein, Marie-Luise

Born - Died : 1863 - 1931

Author of the most comprehensive history of European garden design. She was born in East Prussia (now part of Poland) and worked for the University of Heidelberg in Germany. This gave her the opportunity to meet scholars from many fields, notably expert German archaeologists. Marie-Luise Gothein's book was published in German in 1913 as Geschichte der Gartenkunst and 1925 and in English in 1928 as A History of Garden Art. The book was re-issued by Hacker Fine Art Press. Marie-Luise Gothein spoke many languages and had the time and the means to research garden history in the libraries of many countries. The First World War was a great sadness to her and she retired to Banjoemas in Java when it came to an end. Marie-Luise Gothein combined a scholar's attention to detail and ability to take endless pains with excellent design judgement and a friendly sense of humor. She is strong on the history of German gardens. Gothein's ability to follow the story of garden design through four millennia is unmatched and gives the book a continuing value, notwithstanding the enormous garden history research of the twentieth century. Like most historians, Gothein's strengths diminish as she approaches her own time: the nineteenth century is less well handled than earlier historical periods. Gothein gives due credit to Jacob van Falk's The garden: its art and history and to Hugo Koch's Saxon garden art. An electronic version of Marie-Luise Gothein's comprehensive history of garden design was published by the Garden Visit and Travel Guide in 2001. Her spirit, no doubt, lives in Heidelberg Schlossgarten (Hortus Palatinus), destroyed during the Thirty Years War.