Lady Prudence Cradock-Hartopp interview: Pre-Wimbledon

Can you tell what you did between then and coming to Wimbledon? Where did you meet your husband?

I worked in Derby for several years. I met him in Derbyshire. He was staying with mutual friends and they’d invited me up for lunch for the day. It was a Sunday because we worked Saturdays.  He was just staying with them. He had been brought up in Derbyshire. His father had been agent to the Duke at Chatsworth and Peter, the husband of this friend, was agent at that time.

You were married in 1953 and carried on working for a while?

Yes for a short while [as a freelance]. Then I had Melinda and gave it up as it was too difficult.

[I returned to freelancing after the children went to school.] It wasn’t easy trying to get things published when you had left it. I had my contacts before.  But then I wrote a couple of books. I wrote a biography of the Tradescants and another one of a contemporary artist called Alexander Marshal which I did for the Royal Library. They are both still in print. The Tradescants is now into its third edition and the Royal Library reprinted [too]. It’s a basic catalogue of his work. It’s a very beautiful book. I’ve done various articles for the journal of the Garden History Society called Garden History. John Evelyn’s garden at Deptford and another garden.