CAPABILITY BROWN by Dorothy Stroud.

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.

Amazon Link

Other ‘Brown’ books listed:

Capability Brown and the Eighteenth Century English Landscape, Roger Turner

CAPABILITY BROWN AND THE ENGLISH LANDSCAPE GARDEN

LAURA MAYER

 

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About Lancelot Capability Brown

Hello and Welcome to my Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown blog! I thrive on the richness and diversity found within our historic gardens and landscapes and I hope through this blog to paint a picture of Lancelot Brown’s 18th Century world, his landscapes and life. I’d like this blog to spread the Brownian word far and wide, so please join in, suggest post subjects, send in potential articles or links to anything and everything with 'Capability'. I’ll also be looking forward to the Capability Brown Tercentenary Celebration of his birth in 2016, and look forward to an incredible year where the work of Brown can receive more praise and recognition than ever before. I've also launched a Twitter account under the title of @Brown2016 where for the next few years I plan to help spread the word and at the very least play my part in the build-up to a special year for all who enjoy landscape gardening in its true form. All views are my own and do not represent those of any organisation.
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