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The Scottish landscape gardener and prolific horticultural writer John Claudius Loudon (1783–1843) published this guide to suburban living in 1838. The book is intended to provide instruction on choosing a house or 'villa' (or the site on which to build one); on the furnishing of the house; and on the laying out, planting and general management of the garden and grounds. Loudon had also planned a section on horticulture, but was forced to postpone this to a separate volume, which was never written. Like most of Loudon's books (several of which have been reissued in this series), the work is detailed and didactic: for example, the precise construction of chimneys is discussed, with reference to the various existing styles and the pros and cons, aesthetic and functional, of each. Offering insights into the practical and social aspirations of the emerging middle classes, the book also contains numerous engravings.