The Repton Gazette and Brown Advisor

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

Category: Ideas (Page 1 of 11)

1852: who designed the churchyard at Mount Edgcumbe?

Oofy here: Editorial: ‘nough about me. Need a break. Writin’s hard – and here’s another question. Haven’t spotted the question mark. Must be somewhere. Give me a shout ‘f you come across it.

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1836: was Repton influenced by Horace Walpole? – by Mrs Anne Radcliffe?

Oofy here: Editorial: Less Rhubarb. Drop it.

A gloss from the Type-Setter. Our editor rightly feels that too much ink is spent on Horace Walpole because the man is so quotable. The Professor on the other hand is greatly attached to the gothic.

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1839: was Rousseau an influence?

Oofy here: Editorial: More on Jane Austen. What about French?

A gloss from the Type-Setter. The perspicacity of our editor brings to his attention a rift to be discerned in the thinking of Humphry Repton and Jane Austen.

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1832: was Repton influenced?

Oofy here: Editorial: Under the influence. More like. Ha-ha. Funny eh?

A gloss from the Type-Setter. Our editor refers here to the familiar slur on Humphry Repton that he was more a follower of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown than an initiator and these are the terms that I refer to the Professor, who responds as follows:

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1835: was William Cowper an influence?

Oofy here: Editorial: Cowper. Deal with it.

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1834: was the Reverend William Gilpin an influence?

‘When in Sense and Sensibility Marianne Dashwood lamented that “every body pretends to feel and tries to describe with the taste and elegance of him who first defined what picturesque beauty was”, the ‘him’ in question was the Reverend William Gilpin.

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1830: what is Repton’s reputation?

Oofy here: Editorial: Time for candour. Point is. Reppers had no class. Stood at the wrong end of m’ punt. Cambridge man. Tryin’ too hard. Same as Jane Austen.

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1831: What made Repton different from Brown?

Oofy here: Editorial: Not interested in this. What’s Repton, what’s Brown? Without Austen.

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1822: What about Gothic?

A gloss from the Type-Setter: while some will know me as the Nonesuch, the man of immaculate taste, there will be those still unaware of my contrary distaste for the beasts, and other such objects of the field, and hence a great aversion to the outside world. It is to this trait – it has been called a craven surrender to a childish fear, I will admit as much  – that our Editor alluded in note 1821, and it has warmed me to my editorial role – whatever difficulties the post may bring to my posture, they are as nothing to the shock of  flies on an otherwise impeccable and doubly pressed silk shirt. Allow me then to bring Humphry Repton’s  landscapes to you through the medium of his sketches, without the trouble of  muddy boots, cow-berries and barb-wire in the crotch.

As promised in my recent note 1820 therefore, I now append the Professor’s submission for the Gothic (he prefers ‘Sondergothik’ – that late form of Gothic peculiar to Central Europe which speaks to the romantic, fantastical and sometimes overwrought soul of the Czech nationalist):

‘Humphry Repton was perfectly happy to work with the inspired idiosyncracies of Gothic design that James Wyatt provided for Norris Castle.

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1820: Is Norris Castle Repton?

Norris Castle with every indication of treasure

Norris Castle, with every indication of treasure

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The Brown Advisor©2015

By John Phibbs