Mr H of Redruth, a formidable leader of the Cornish secession, has asked me why the great 18th century gardener Capability Brown did no work there.

It goes against the grain for the Brown Advisor to have no answer to a question – which is the truth – but if you can sustain a little speculation, then I would suggest that rich people may not have wanted to live in Cornwall, and if they were luckless enough to inherit land in Cornwall, they made sure to squander their inheritance elsewhere on the island.

Alternatively, Brown may not have regarded it as part of England (a view that most Cornishmen, including my correspondent, would uphold) and he therefore avoided it as he avoided Scotland, because his subject was England.

Then again, he might have seen the jewels amongst the jetsam of the Cornish coast, and thus abandoned the country, jealous of a power in nature still greater than his own.