Publication Date: 03/04/2024 ISBN: 9781915068378 Category:

An Almost Impossible Thing

Publisher: Little Toller Books
Publication Date: 03/04/2024 ISBN: 9781915068378 Category:
Paperback / Softback


Become the envy of all book lovers with your own Mr B’s sticker to show off where you do your shopping.



The paperback edition of the bestselling, acclaimed book. While working at the Royal Horticultural Society, Fiona Davison came across a cache of letters from a young gardener who was denied a scholarship by the RHS, on the grounds that she was female. Appalled, and intrigued to find out what became of Olive, Fiona began to research the wider story of early female professional gardeners and discovered a group of pioneers whose struggles changed forever the rights and opportunities for women gardeners. Although gardens are often seen as a refuge, a place to escape from the troubles of the modern world, this book looks back to a period when British gardens were an arena for radical and far-reaching experiments. A time when the ability to cultivate land was mobilised by a group of convention-busting women who wanted to change the world. An Almost Impossible Thing follows six hitherto little-known women gardeners in the years before the First World War, and examines their lives in the context of suffragism, collectivism and Empire.

Publisher Review

'I devoured Davison's book...the realities of domestic life for young women to the end of the First World War are vividly evoked on every page of the book, making it a revealing document of social history.' Ysenda Maxtone Graham, TLS; 'Fiona Davison has written an engaging, thought-provoking account of "quiet revolutionaries hidden in plain sight": the unmarried sisters and daughters who, in the dog days of the nineteenth century and beyond, chose to dedicate their lives to horticulture. Delightful, quirky and very human details animate Davison's well researched narrative.' Matthew Dennison, The Daily Telegraph

Book experts at your service

What are you looking for?

A recommendation
Something specific
  • Mr B's Recommendation Station
  • Fill in the three questions below, along with your name and email address, and our book experts will be in touch soon with their personal recommendations

  • I'm after something specific
  • Tell us about the book, author or subject you're looking for, along with your name and email address and our book experts will be in touch as soon as possible