The Repton Gazette and Brown Advisor

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

Category: Picturesque

281: Was Brown asking for trouble?

Mr Honey comes in spinning like a top – I have seldom seen such irritability in a man – and flings onto our table first one issue then another then another of The Spectator – a journal with which I feel myself to be closely associated. Indeed it is one in which I take a nigh-on paternal interest.  Each of these issues has within it another attack on the landscapes of Capability Brown.

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147: What is so grand about Berrington?

Berrington as village (11)

Is Berrington a house, or is it a fortified hill-top Tuscan town?

In earlier posts, such as notes 31 and 58, the Brown Advisor has endeavoured to separate out variety, greatness and extent, suggesting that these qualities should be held in balance. Islands, as the poet Shenstone remarked, give beauty, if the water be adequate; but lessen grandeur through variety.


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135: What is ‘the very extremity of Mr Brown’s taste’?

Mr C of Dagenham, a formidable scholar of the old school, has asked me why anyone should regard the landscape at Shugborough as anything like Brown’s work.

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7: How many ruined churches did Brown have to deal with?

The old church at Woolsthorpe was blown up in the Civil War

The old church at Woolsthorpe was blown up in the Civil War

Dr L has contacted me from Stanstead Mountfichet to ask whether the church at Fornham Genevieve was ruined by the time the great Capability Brown got there.

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120: Why the picturesque?

I met this evening with the genial Mr Honey at the Tatler’s Waste-Bin and he described to me an extraordinary coincidence – which I have set down exactly as he told it to me, having only freed it from the impedimentary oaths, particular part-truths and periphrasis that will pepper his conversation as he takes his fourth and fifth pints.

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The Brown Advisor©2015

By John Phibbs