John Hanson Mitchell
Books Essays Biography Contact
Books

The Rose Cafe: Love and War in Corsica
Shoemaker & Hoard,
2007
Looking for Mr Gilbert: The Reimagined Life of an African American
Shoemaker & Hoard,
2005

Following the Sun: Fron Spain to the Hebrides
Counterpoint,
2002

The Wildest Place on Earth: Italian Gardens and the Invention of Wilderness
Counterpoint,
2001
Trespassing: An Inquiry into the Private Ownership of Land
Perseus Books,
1998
Walking Towards Walden: A Pilgimage in Search of Place
Perseus Books,
1995
Living at the End of Time
Houghton Mifflin,
1990

A Field Guide to your Own Backyard,
Countryman Press,
1985

Ceremonial Time: Fifteen Tousand Years on One Square Mile
Perseus Books,
1984

Buy

“I cannot imagine anyone reading this fine little book without beginning to form some really big plans. “
---- The Boston Globe

“One of our finest guides … he shows us how we can cease our wanderings and come to know a place “
--- American Book Review

The Wildest Place on Earth:
Italian Gardens and the Invention of Wilderness

Counterpoint, 2002

Over a period of ten years,  Mitchell constructed on his Scratch Flat land, a version of an Italian garden --- complete with a labyrinth, something that was de rigueur in the earliest Roman gardens. Continuing the exploration, over a series of four different trips, he revisits some of the most famous Italian gardens, starting in the south at Caserta and moving northward all the way to the island  gardens of the Italian Lake District.  He argues in this book that the formal, orderly, Italian garden, with its allées and axis, clipped hedges, and statuary is in fact the inspiration for the appreciation of wilderness and wild lands that emerged in nineteenth century America and led, ultimately, to the creation of the National Park system. 

© 2011 John Hanson Mitchell
All rights reserved