Humphry Repton (1752-1818) ambitiously styled himself Capability Brown's successor: the century's next great improver of landed property. With his rare combination of skills - he was a talented topographical sketcher with a unique ability to judge the shifting needs of his patrons - over thirty years Repton amassed an incredible four hundred commissions; his famous Red Books, illustrated to help clients visualise the potential of their properties, did much to encourage the appreciation of landscape aesthetics, especially among the rising middle classes. With colourful illustrations and detailed site investigations, this book traces Repton's landscape designs from Picturesque wildernesses like Blaise Castle to the progressive Gardenesque style of Endsleigh in Devon. It is both a perfect visitor's guide to the gardens and an introduction to the theory of Repton's work.
Laura Mayer holds a PhD on eighteenth-century architectural and landscape patronage from the University of Bristol. Her article on Capability Brown's transformation of Alnwick Castle won the Garden History Society essay prize in 2010 and she is working with Timothy Mowl on The Historic Gardens of England: Northumberland. She also wrote Capability Brown for Shire.
Introduction: Capability Brown's Legacy / Reinventing Repton / The Red Books / Picturesque Pressures / Theory and Practice / The Gardenesque / Further Reading / Places to Visit / Index