John Evelyn: Britain’s First Environmentalist

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Air pollution, the usefulness of trees, ideas for a green belt are not concerns we associate with the 1600s. But John Evelyn, writer, diarist and gardener, was unusual. His thinking in Fumifugium (1661) about air quality, and Sylva (1664) about trees, seems astonishingly close to our own today. 

Evelyn’s preoccupation with apparently contemporary environmental problems, and his suggested solutions, are a remarkable legacy and one to be celebrated in 2020.

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This event was on Thu, 29 Oct 2020


Gillian Darley OBE

Gillian is a writer, speaker and broadcaster. She is the author of the most recent biography, John Evelyn; Living for Ingenuity (Yale University Press, 2006), shortlisted for the James Tait Black Biography prize.

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