From the publisher:
The garden suburb has its origins in London, and, contrary to wide-spread belief, its earliest phase took place not at the beginning of the twentieth century, with the much discussed garden-city movement, but one century earlier, with the creation of the Eyre brothers’ villa estate in the London suburb of St John’s Wood. This fascinating book provides the first detailed, accurate and well-illustrated account of the Eyre Estate. Drawing on the resources of the newly catalogued Eyre archive, it offers an authoritative interpretation of the development and management of this pioneering estate from the eighteenth century onwards. As the first ‘garden quarter’ of Britain, the genesis and realisation of the Eyre Estate involved vision, entrepreneurship and formidable negotiation and organisational skills. The Eyre family, their circle of business partners, architects and builders created an environment within which villas and landmark buildings – secular and religious – offered a haven for artists, professionals and those who required discreet housing for less respectable purposes. Mireille Galinou describes how London acquired one of its most attractive and influential suburbs and how generations of the Eyre family shaped, fought over, lost and revitalised its inheritance. Little did they know they were making world history with their winning formula, which set the green suburb agenda for the middle classes around the globe.