Captain Ken is an excellent and reliable fellow, if inclined to extreme scepticism when he comes across any suggestion of the Brown Advisor’s. He numbers archery amongst his past-times and it was while we were amusing ourselves at the butts that he asked me whether I was sticking to the notion that Capability Brown preferred to show off his houses in a head-on view. I said I did, for Brown was a friend to freedom and a foe to forced solutions: if head-on was the most obvious way to see a house, then head-on is what he would provide. Indeed I had already published my opinion on the matter (note 12 for example).
Mr J, a shepherd at Whitchurch, Hants., has asked whether ordinary people can understand the gardener, Capability Brown, convincing though he may be to the cognoscenti. Conventional wisdom has it that since Brown worked for an aristocratic elite, you won’t be able to understand his work unless you puff yourself up with titles and a pretension to court dress.