In my last I (note 281) gave my verdict on the varnished version of verisimilitude that is held to characterise the work of the gardener Capability Brown. Now Mr C of Nailsworth and Ms B of Swindon clearly assume that I have powers to communicate with the dead and so have joined to ask me what question I would put to the man if I had the power to do so.
Category: Character (Page 1 of 3)
Bound as I am to commend and encourage the interest of my friends in the working of the Brown Advisor, I am bound also to respond to such comments as they may make. However what I have lately heard from the Bar I find disquieting; it has caused me to turn again to Dr Sarah Rutherford’s work: The landscape gardens of Capability Brown.
My good friends Captain Ken and Mr Honey profess themselves both keen fishermen, yet their ways of proceeding could not be more distinct. The Captain will cast his fly, chin-proudly forward, gazing across the water, immobile as a heron. Mr H will snooze until he spies a craft of women punting by, then he will thrash the water with his line, with much cursing and joshing, then will he heave mightily in the waters. Now that’s real fishing he will say, a-twirling of his fine moustache.
Having made clear (note 222) that being unable to resist any temptation or external pressure, I have found it politic to retire to my tower whenever asked by anyone to do anything, I was immediately found out by the demands of Dr E of Leeds and the unstoppable Mrs L of Ilkley that I should attend them at Wentworth Castle for the launch of ‘Yorkshire Capabilities’, Volumes 75 and 76 of the New Arcadian Journal.
Should this journal not be better known? Should there not be collected editions?
Mr B of Wisbeach asks me if he would be right to think of Mr Honey as a flâneur. Perhaps he might, if Mr Honey were to stroll the boulevards of Paris, but I cannot so picture him. Like our subject, Capability Brown, Mr Honey can barely be persuaded to leave the island – ‘Boulevardier? – I hear him say – ‘Moi?’.
Fair enough Mr M, you have been locked in a cupboard somewhere in Dorset, you are not free to say where, and you will not be released until you have written a vibrant guide to the work carried out in that country by that wunderkind Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown.
I referred in my note 29 to the aversion that the wonder-gardener Capability Brown felt towards ‘shewing a road’ and I judged that his aversion sprang from the desire to disconnect the components, and thus to induce an air of reverie, of dream, en fin, of mystery, into his landscapes.