Many have been the triumphs of Capability Brown’s tercentenary
Tag: Hampton Court (Page 1 of 2)
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.
Bound as I am to commend and encourage the interest of my friends in the working of the Brown Advisor, I am bound also to respond to such comments as they may make. However what I have lately heard from the Bar I find disquieting; it has caused me to turn again to Dr Sarah Rutherford’s work: The landscape gardens of Capability Brown.
As if to console me for the equivocation of my last (note 256), Dr L-G, whose Malvern garden had brought on the volte-face, has just told me the most extraordinary thing à propos turkeys, a subject already touched upon by the Brown Advisor (note 113). It appears that Sir William Chambers reported to his friend Thomas Worsley in 1774 that ‘Master Brown had put padlocks on the wilderness at Hampton Court where he breeds turkeys’. What an extraordinary thing to learn.
Captain Ken commented to me only the other day that though he can walk 30 miles across country without thinking much of it, after twenty minutes in a picture gallery his back aches, his arches have fallen, a terrible feeling of torpor overcomes him, his body cries out for a pot of tea and a simple bench to rest himself upon.
The Brown Advisor has long accepted as law the judgements of scholarship. It is only because we have not accustomed ourselves that the pronouncements dredged up and synthesised from primary research will surprise us by their sometimes radical and iconoclastic conclusions. No matter what, no matter how eccentric their opinions then, the Brown Advisor welcomes the breadth and breath of the scholar.
Spring brings out the cynic in men like Captain Ken – it is the sudden and unpredictable change in the look of things. Mr Honey on the other hand grows steadily less repressible. ‘Hark at the lark!’ he is wont to say, at every chirrup from a passing sparrow.
A somewhat technical question is proposed by Dr W of South Yorkshire who declares himself bewildered by our understanding and use of the two words ‘wildness’ and ‘wilderness’.