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Regent's Park & Primrose Hill in Literature and Music - Introduction

Regent's Park was originally part of Middlesex Forest. Henry VIII enclosed it to make a game reserve, which he called Marylebone Park. After the Civil War it lost its trees and was turned into farmland. Then, as London
expanded, it became a popular area for recreation: a pleasure resort called Marylebone Gardens was opened, and visited by Samuel Pepys among others. The final transformation was effected by John Nash and his patron the Prince Regent (later George IV). Work began in 1812, and it was opened to the public as The Regent's Park in 1835. The garden of the Royal Botanic Society, where Elizabeth Barrett
stole flowers for her fiancé, was closed in 1932; Queen Mary's Garden, which includes the much-visited Rose Garden, now occupies the site.

Primrose Hill too was once part of Middlesex Forest. Henry VI gave it to Eton College, which he had just founded; they let it out as meadowland. In 1842 it was returned to the Crown; the parish council fought off an attempt to turn it into a public cemetery, and it became instead a public park.

Pre-1900 texts are noted on the lists of Authors and Musicians. Primrose Hill texts are indicated by a 'P'. This is the list to date, and I'm still finding new ones. (If you're curious as to how the list got started, see the Tour page.) Suggestions for new entries are welcome, as are your comments. You can contact me, John Black, at reglit@hotmail.com.

Help defend Regent's Park!

The competing pressures on this wonderful asset are multiplying, and increasingly difficult to reconcile. Developers and traffic are continually threatening parts of the Park which, if lost, are gone for ever.

If you want to defend its beauty and tranquillity against potential threats and depredations, you can do so more effectively by joining The Friends of Regent's Park and Primrose Hill. The email address is membership@friendsofregentspark.org, and you can keep up to date with developments, good and bad, at www.friendsofregentspark.org.

I should add that the Friends have no connection with this website and no responsibility for its contents. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.

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