The Repton Gazette and Brown Advisor

300 Frequently Asked Questions about Capability Brown, and a further 200 about Humphry Repton

Category: Friends and society (Page 1 of 4)

1846: Did Repton work for a lower class of person than Brown?

‘It is a truth universally acknowledged, though unsupported by any evidence, that Humphry Repton worked for a lower class of people than Brown.

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297: Who’d live in a village?

Many questions have been raised about the standing of the 18th century village. Was it Oliver Goldsmith’s Auburn and a heaven on earth, or was it squalid, unsanitary and absolutely to be avoided?

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296: Who did the driving?

Captain Ken, being a bicycling man, is forever in pursuit of some new place in which to try his skills, be it the screes of a mountain slope or the dense undergrowth of a distant forest and he now returns from the United States with a renewed disdain for the familiar well-trodden paths of custom.

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292: Who’s in the picture?

292-garrick-villa

Who is the standing man in the brown top coat?

A row hangs over us and it has to do with Zoffany’s portrait of David Garrick, to which note 282 of the Brown Advisor refers.

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282: With whom did Brown take coffee?

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.

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289: What is the difference between a house and a hall?

Ms K has been in touch from Leeds over a matter of propriety. She wonders if Dukes always live in palaces, and if there is a pecking order in the names of houses as there is in the orders of the nobility.

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284: Are there no crumbs?

Hirsute and with her head in a bandage again, Mrs W of Staffordshire never looks her best after a fall, but her one wild eye is still a-roving, and thus she came to me seeking as it were a mix of bread-crumbs which she felt would liven up this dish of advisory notes and give them more kick as they came fresh from the oven.

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285: What of Steffie Shields?

A delayed train to Carlisle having given me an hour or two in hand at Newcastle, I resolved to indulge myself with Steffie Shields Moving Heaven and Earth Capability Brown’s gift of landscape.

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279: What’s worse – Catholic or Tory?

A chance conversation – I was dining at Stowe – led me to review the correspondence of Mrs W of Nether Lamport (see for example my note 8). For I surmise that after all there is an underlying significance to the names of things.

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273: Can close kin be clients?

I have occasionally observed that after a dram or two, some men display a memory of astonishing acuity, correcting the smallest faults in a narrative with a pedantry entirely at odds with their slurred speech and loosely buttoned waistcoats.

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The Brown Advisor©2015

By John Phibbs