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Nobody writes about the garden like the English. And few in England have ever been as eloquent or astute as Katherine Swift. Some twenty years ago, she and her husband leased a house in the town of Morville, in Shropshire, whose garden became her passion. Driven to uncover its history, she takes readers on a journey through time, back to the forces that shaped the garden, linking the stories of those who lived in the house and tended the same red soil with her family's own. Spanning thousands of years, The Morville Hours is also deeply personal, a journey through the seasons, but also one of self-exploration, of finding one's place in the world and putting down roots.

The Morville Hours takes the form of the medieval Books of Hours, recalling the monastic past of the house. Each chapter is named after one of the Hours of the Divine Office, and summons vividly to life an hour of the day or night--from the crunch of grass underfoot at midnight on a frosty New Year's Eve to a perfumed May Day morning when the whole world seems sixteen again; from the enervating heat of a midsummer noon to the bloom of blue-black damsons picked on a golden September afternoon. Together, they describe the arc of the gardening year, and the arc of life.

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