The Repton Gazette and Brown Advisor

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

Category: Englishness (Page 1 of 3)

1835: was William Cowper an influence?

Oofy here: Editorial: Cowper. Deal with it.

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293: What part did infinity play?

The Bar adopts at times the quietly assured purr of the contented cat who has seen the mouse and is merely waiting for a propitious moment to spring.

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299: What is Brown’s legacy?

Recently returned from his tour to the eastern states, Captain Ken has reported his astonishment that Americans could describe the architecture and layout of New York as beautiful, and his further astonishment at the praise they heaped on the scenery along the train line from New York to Philadelphia.

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298: Should landscapes be private?

I return to my recent communication (note 296) in response to a particular query from Miss P of Harlaxton who asks what grounds I have for supposing that the Dukes of Rutland drew their sense of themselves from the deep, and probably imagined, past.

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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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291: Is pedantry a virtue?

The more than distinguished Professor H of Pennsylvania has communicated and in his communication he makes it clear in his by-the-way fashion that when Sir William Chambers described the designs of the master-illusionist, Capability Brown, as little more than a walk around a common field, he meant ‘common field’ in the sense ‘common or garden’, that is, ordinary, everyday.

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263: What about common land?

Some ideas, finding their way into the mind, attach themselves like chewing gum to every passing thought, and so it is with me with respect to drainage, the subject of my last (note 262).

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209: Was Brown a conservative?

In a typically roistering effusion, that Red Clydesider and North Briton, the Ha-ha Hero, has challenged me to say what the apolitical Capability Brown, great man of the soil as he was, would have thought about ‘Blue Labour’, a recent, and at first sight unlikely, political fusion between the conservative politician and theorist, Edmund Burke, and socialism.

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202: What is authenticity?

The history of each individual is more significant to each than the history of his or her culture. The places our parents and grand-parents came from give us some measure of self-confidence for we partly define ourselves by our stock and by the stories we tell of our forebears.

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199: What’s wrong with Wales?

Miss E, an entertainer, writes from Ceredigion to ask why Wales has played such a small part in these notes.

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The Brown Advisor©2015

By John Phibbs