The Most Glorious Prospect received a highly positive review from leading publication Country Life in its 3 January 2018 issue.
Huon Mallalieu immediately identified the vast bredth of Bettina Harden’s research, as well as its originality, noting that: ‘Despite the digging that has been done in this extensive documentary midden, Bettina Harden has found much rich compost that has not been turned before.’
The reviewer goes on to discuss the tragectory and scope of the book, beginning with the early visits of botanists during the 17th-century. The growth in antiquarian passion over the next hundred years brought the first real tourism to Wales from the upper and later the middle classes, with its magnificent houses and gardens a key attraction. These sights were well documented visually as well as in text, as the reviewer relates, with The Most Glorious Prospect‘s range of original art works adding extra depth.
Bettina Harden serves as an ‘equally admirable guide’ to any of those active when garden tourism was at its hight, with Mallalieu concluding: ‘Not only does she marshall her many sources judiciously, blending them into an easy narrative, but she wields a sprightly pen, conveying infor-mation with eleagence…The result is a beautiful and authoratative book.’