Sunday, June 27, 2010

Mansfield Park revisited

Business card of Humphry Repton (1752-1818)
'The Father of Landscape Design'

I like to read works of fiction in which gardens play a role. One such book I am enjoying reading at the moment is 'Murder at Mansfield Park' by British author Lynn Shepherd. It is a clever and funny re-imagining of the Jane Austen classic Mansfield Park. In this version, the character of Henry Crawford is a landscape gardener who is employed to make improvements to Mansfield Park. Soon after his arrival, his knowledge and abilities on the subject are challenged by the pompous James Rushworth from nearby Southerton, who sees himself as a genius and much better even than the great Humphry Repton.
The profession of landscape gardening had been 'codified' by Repton in the late 18th century with his book Sketches and Hints on Landscape Gardening which was published in 1795.
........What to wear in 1810 while inspecting the grounds for Views,Vistas and the Picturesque?
I like the idea of having a dress sword at the ready for dead-heading roses and perennials!

1 comment:

  1. Must be an interesting book. Deadheading the roses with a dress sword? I can imagine his Nibs doing it!