The Repton Gazette and Brown Advisor

300 Frequently Asked Questions about Capability Brown, and a further 200 about Humphry Repton

1849: will this be the last question about Repton’s red books?

Oofy here: Editorial: time to talk horses. Bought Gi-gi at the Stowe Fair. Crossed the gipsy’s palm with silver and she said the horse was mine. Couldn’t run faster if she had 5 legs. Matter of fact. You can say that about her. Fact is. If you were a horse and had 5 legs you’d spend all your time thinking which hoof to go down on next. Never get anywhere.

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1829: Boundaries?

“‘The park wall must be continued around the farm for the safety of the woods, which I observed were shamefully mutilated by the natives, & also for the preservation of game.’[1]

Queen Victoria copied the sea wall at Norris when she bought Osborne House, next door.

Queen Victoria copied the sea wall at Norris when she bought Osborne House, next door.

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1828: Planting?

West Cowes from the esplanade

West Cowes from the esplanade

“‘On this principle they have proceeded too hastily at Plas Newydd in grubbing hedges & pulling down cottages, for the sake of showing an extent of open lawn in a direction where plantations ought to be encouraged to screen a bleak country,

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1827: Approaches?

“The approaches at Norris Castle are symmetrical and have a certain overriding geometry. There is nothing else like this in Repton’s oeuvre, hence they are unlikely to have been designed by him.

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1826: Are Repton’s red books useful?

The Type-Setter is to be found in transit. He is either running upstairs from the editorial sofa to the observatory in the attic where the Professor contemplates the works of Repton, or downstairs in the other direction. Orders from the editor fly one way, rebuttals and refusals fly the other. ‘Rush! Rush! Always rush!’ he can be heard to say. It is his business to transmute the sparks and ferocities of his colleagues into the honeyed purr of mutual delight.

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1825: Pleasure grounds?

Oofy here: Editorial: Tell me if it’s the same for you: when I hear a fellow speaking. What they say makes perfect sense. Beautifully expressed. A treat. When I think of saying anything m’self, I get plenty of phrases alright. Jumbled up though. Can’t work out which comes first.

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1824: Why there?

“If the Bathing House at Norris Castle is Reptonian in character and style, we might then ask what Repton might have made of its location and the location of the other buildings on the estate.

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1831: What made Repton different from Brown?

Oofy here: Editorial: Not interested in this. What’s Repton, what’s Brown? Without Austen.

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1823: Setting?

“If the location of Norris Castle was not of Repton’s determination, then we should not abjure the evidence for settings that he provided for buildings in the late 18th century.”

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1822: What about Gothic?

“Repton was perfectly happy to work with the eccentricities of Gothic design that James Wyatt provided for Norris Castle.

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The Brown Advisor©2015

By John Phibbs