cloth, 128 pp., $45.00
Created in central Italy in the sixteenth century by Vicino, Lord of Bomarzo (1528–88), the Garden of Bomarzo, named the Sacred Wood by its owner/designer, and Monsters Wood by local citizens, features a rugged site and unusual, sometimes grotesque, sculptures. Gradually forgotten by later owners, who allowed nature to take over the site for several centuries, it consists of a series of landscape scenes that both astonish and intellectually challenge today's visitors with their symbolism. Having a background in classical studies, author Jessie Sheeler ably relates the fascinating biography of a Renaissance lord, as well as the history of the Garden and the enigmatic stone imagery that depicts Vincino's fascination with religion, mythology, and sex. The photographs by Mark Edward Smith capture the genius of the site in stunning pictures.
— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden