A fascinating account of London and Londoners past
Holmes, Mrs Basil [Isabella Matilda]:The London Burial Grounds: Notes on Their History from the Earliest Times to the Present Day. London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1896.
8vo. pp. 339, [i]. Numerous b/w illustrations, some spotting. Green publisher’s cloth, blocked in gilt and black. Isabella Holmes' father John Hall Gladstone was a distinguished chemist, who was also active in liberal politics, educational reform and philanthropy, but he might also have passed on his love for London: according to one obituary he 'was very fond of London... [and] seems never to have wished to live out of the metropolis' (Journal of the Chemical Society). Isabella's husband Basil Holmes was Secretary to the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association. Founded in 1882, the MPGA was involved in creating and improving green public spaces in deprived areas of London, which often included clearing overcrowded burial grounds. It was evidently a shared passion, and the present work illustrates an awareness of the challenging balance between preservation and recreation to be struck in giving defunct burial grounds a lease of life.