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.
Tag: Burton Constable (Page 1 of 3)
In a short but heartening exchange, Mr Honey, flapping himself around his calves, as is his wont, with a horse-whip declared that ‘Nothing, but nothing beats a picture’. He was fresh in from Yorkshire and very full of himself, but I shall summarise his fuller account.
My fellows at the Tatler’s Waste-bin have asked me to make this fourth be our final resumé of progress in the study of the work of Capability Brown during 2016, his tercentennial, his triumphal year. They fear lest we show too great a partiality for Dr Sarah Rutherford’s work. Here then is a further miscellany of observations largely gleaned from her text.
Of course once one starts on one thing, something else is sure to happen. This suggestion that gardeners and designers, even significant ones like William Emes, might on occasion have been taken on to finish what the effortlessly euphuistic, Capability Brown, had begun, scarcely ventured upon in notes 217, 218 and 238 now brings a shower of other examples down on my head: Why not Michael Milican, working to Brown’s instruction at Chatsworth, but paid by the Duke and not by Brown? Why not Winkles – Brown’s man at Tottenham, who never figures in Brown’s accounts?
This issue of the Ionic order (notes 162 and 222) clings to me like goose-grass on the jerseys of children. In all probability it is as foolish, but Mrs S of London has inquired about the Tuscan columns used in William Pitt’s farms at Burton Pynsent. The gardener and home-builder, Capability Brown, who does not seem to have used the Ionic order in his buildings, may have known these, and certainly knew the Tuscan temples (with their Tuscan columns) at Wotton. I would go so far as to say that he was comfortable with Tuscans, however at the point of reaching this conclusion, my lucubrations were brought prematurely to a close with a whoop from Captain Ken, who had just made a triple twenty on the dart-board at my elbow.
Buoyed by his triumph, he suggested, when I unfolded to him what had been on my mind, that just as architects of the Italian Renaissance had adopted the Tuscan as a native Etruscan form and hence their own, so might the 18th century have brought it to England for its primitive honesty – a thing that Brown is like to have fostered within himself. Perhaps, Mrs S, we should leave the Captain, in the moment of his triumph, with that likely answer.
Dr R of Herefordshire, himself a dedicated archaeologist of the shorts, long socks and sandals school, is anxious first to categorise earthworks by the use for which they were intended (saw-pits, charcoaling sites, hill-forts etc.) and second to distinguish constructed earthworks from natural eruptions in the soil that happen to suit some purpose of man.