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Where is Paradise?

Adam and Eve's expulsion from Eden haunted the medieval mind. The garden was a deeply symbolic space, its enclosed arbours representing the purity of the Virgin Mary, its fountains and idealised streams reflecting redemptive waters. The idea was not to attempt a recreation of paradise, but to remind man of what he had lost.

Enlarged image Enlarged image
The dreamer lying by a stream Le Roman de la rose
The dreamer lying by a stream.
Cotton MS Nero A.X., f.37
Copyright © The British Library Board
Le Roman de la rose
The Garden of Pleasure, late 15th Century Flemish. Harley MS 4425, f.12v
Copyright © The British Library Board


In the case of the dreamer lying upon a heady, flower-powdered spot in the beautiful and instructive Middle English poem ' Pearl ', the garden pointed to a state of perfection once intact, now broken, and longed for again.

 
 
 
Discover more:
Introduction
Introduction
Themes
Themes
Where is paradise?
Paradise remade
Paradise remade
'All nature is a garden'
'All nature is a garden'
Private places, public spaces
Private places, public spaces
Gardens lost and found
Gardens lost and found
Enchanted gardens
Enchanted gardens
Learning
Learning
Events
Events
Shop
Shop
Competitions
Competitions
E-cards
e-cards
Links
Links
   

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