THE ENGLISH GARDEN by Ralph Dutton

THE ENGLISH GARDEN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This book and the next are interesting from many angles, Miss Graham's preceding this in point of time and supposedly that much earlier in landscape art and philosophy. But it is a matter of opinion and approach. Miss Graham (p. 138) gives to Sir William Chambers (who built the Duke of Kent's Chinese Garden at Kew in 1750) the credit for ""the English garden,"" as an informal natural beauty spot breaking away from the rigid and geometrical layouts which some of the early houses still boast. Addison, Pope and Le Notre had deplored them for fifty years. In Mr. Dutton's book (p. 17) he mentions Chambers' contribution as ""a fashion which might have given birth to a large number of follies"" -- a cult for the Oriental -- scattering sensations by means of the artificial, etc. You might suggest these two books for a debate or for two consecutive talks. They are both fascinating. Mr. Dutton traces the growth of the English garden from 1066 to 1900, showing the effect of climate, the natural countryside, art, etc., the influence of the great architects and landscape artists, the mark of even the wills and personalities of the owners of the estates, for the story of the English garden is a history of England; of her subjects and an expression of her life. Thanks to the profuse illustrations we can compare the two types, -- for example, Littlecote's Herbaceous Border and the Parterre at Longford Castle. This volume is uniform with the other volumes of the English Countryside series, and is a book for every lover of gardens, of England or of history of art and architecture to own. A perfect idea for a new way to do England if you've done the cathedrals, abbeys, lake country and all the other likely things -- is to do the English gardens and use this book as guide.

Publisher: Scribner