A gloss from the Type-Setter: the Professor, being a man of sensitivity and a Czech, long under the heel of authoritarian rule – now Austrian, now German, lately Russian – for the Professor, incoherence is defiance; chaos is independence and as a result, though what he writes may stir the heart it communicates not to the head. Permit me therefore to reduce, in the notes that follow, his voluble ejaculation to something more like intelligible language.
’Evidence for: Repton published a sketch of Norris Castle in 1805 in Peacock’s Polite Repository. He might first have seen the site in 1798 when he was visiting his partner of the time, John Nash, who lived next door at East Cowes Castle. Repton usually published with Peacock sketches of places where he had commissions.
Evidence against: there are six such sketches of places within walking distance of East Cowes Castle on the Isle of Wight. From which we might conclude that Repton had taken a little walking tour, sketching as he went, and then he decided to publish the sketches with Peacock a few years later, at a time when he didn’t have much else in his portfolio.
Evidence for: the sketch itself shows the towers of Norris Castle with conical roofs (that were never built). Repton purported to be selling topographical sketches (illustrations of real places), so he wouldn’t have improvised and therefore must have seen James Wyatt’s plans for the castle but they were subsequently changed. This encourages the preliminary conclusion that he worked with Wyatt on the estate.’ [Notes from the Professor, trans. the Type-Setter]
Oofy here: Editorial: can’t stick this stuff – Repton was a cockscomb. Butter my thumbs. End of story. Where’s Herefordshire.