Published by Country Life Ltd, Faber & Faber.
Considered by many to be the master work on Brown, this book has served as the first port for reference since first published in 1950. Dorothy Stroud herself had a mesmerizing career, and in this biography she sets out to effectively record Brown, his family life, career and the landscapes he worked upon. Its information has suffered a little from the passage of time, but has been surpassed I hesitate to say by newer works, prepared with sources of information not previously available.
My 1965 edition published by Country Life Ltd, is a much cherished item that I reach for often. On the inside of the dust jacket, part of the text reads: “Miss Stroud has provided an engaging study of a man who rose from the obscurity of poverty to fame, riches and the patronage of the great”. And as if that alone wasn’t enough to inspire, the text continues: “For the first time many hitherto unsuspected or unidentified works are shown to have been Brown’s, and the fact is at least established that Brown had an extensive architectural practice important not only on its own account, but also as the spring-board from which his son-in-law Henry Holland was to be launched on a distinguished career”.
Chapters include ‘Family and Childhood through to ‘Last Days’, with many in between devoted to the landscapes themselves, and the people Brown encountered along the way.
An anonymous poem from 1767 reads as follows:
Born to grace Nature and her works complete,
With all that’s beautiful, sublime and great!
For him each Muse enwreathes the laurel crown,
And consecrates to Fame immortal Brown.
Obtainable from around £20 online, and one I’d always recommend for the serious Brown enthusiast.
Other ‘Brown’ books listed: