The Repton Gazette and Brown Advisor

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

Category: Ideas (Page 2 of 11)

1819: Is Repton any good?

Oofy here: Editorial: The Professor, Vilém Mrštík: cloak, battered silk hat, consumptive, tin of small white pills (says he takes them for his cough), stick with a silver skull, book with soft leather covers under his arm in which (I looked) a collection of erotic art, limps.

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46: Rabbits?

Professor M gardens on the greensand ridge in Bedfordshire and tells me she is plagued by rabbits.

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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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300: What’s the point of a tercentenary?

Though she seldom has time to stay for an answer, the redoubtable Mrs D is never at a loss for a question and she has asked me what legacy our celebration of the tercentenary of that planter of nurseries, the ‘nonymous but nonetheless non-pareil, Capability Brown, should leave for future generations.

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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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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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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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283: Where does this leave Repton?

While normally I trust I may pride myself upon a sanguine and forgiving temperament, I must confess that a recent correspondence from Mr H of Twickenham, has left me with an unexpected difficulty that I cannot satisfactorily resolve.

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The Brown Advisor©2015

By John Phibbs