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250 × 190 mm
312 pages
136 illustrations, 114 in colour
12 Oct 2020
  • £35.00

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Humphry Repton Landscape Design in an Age of Revolution Tom Williamson

Humphry Repton is one of England’s most interesting and prolific garden and landscape designers. Renowned for his innovative design proposals and distinctive ‘before and after’ images, captured in his famous ‘Red Books’, Repton’s astonishing career represents the link between the simple parklands of his predecessor Capability Brown and the more elaborate, structured and formal landscapes of the Victorian age. This lavishly illustrated book, based on a wealth of new research, reinterprets Repton’s life, working methods and designs, and why they proved so popular in a rapidly changing world.

‘This is an important book on Repton, and a tour de force in the social and economic analysis of garden design. Williamson has an unparalleled grasp of what’s at stake in the making of gardens, and a keen sense of Repton’s role in the reimagining of designed landscape. He combines meticulous scholarship with an eye for the telling detail, and his handling of the economics and aesthetics of gardening is unparalleled. Combined with an inspired account of Repton’s friendships and influences, Williamson offers us valuable insights into the gardening world that Repton both inhabited and made.’ — Professor Stephen Bending, Director of the Southampton Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies, University of Southampton

‘Humphry Repton's imagination of the English landscape was incomparable. He was its artist, sculptor and designer. Tom Williamson admirably charts the evolution of that imagination from the age of Capability Brown through to the aesthetic upheavals of the Regency, always setting it in the social and architectural context of the day. With England's landscape under unprecedented threat, so clear a championship of Repton's work is exceptionally valuable.’ — Sir Simon Jenkins, former chairman of the National Trust and author of 'England's Hundred Best Views'

‘This is the most considered account to date of Humphry Repton’s principles, or ‘system’, of landscape gardening. It draws on the mass of material that Williamson has collected himself in his numerous county-wide surveys, and also the publications of County Gardens Trusts in Repton’s bi-centenary year, all melded together with Williamson’s many insights in his usual lively style. Repton’s observations and hints on landscape design are of enduring interest, and anyone wishing to understand why this should be so would be advised to immerse themselves in this book.’ — Dr David Jacques, garden and landscape historian, and author of 'Landscape Appreciation: Theories since the Cultural Turn' (2019)

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Tom Williamson is Professor of Landscape History at the University of East Anglia, and, with David Brown, author of Lancelot Brown and the Capability Men: Landscape Revolution in Eighteenth-century England (Reaktion, 2016).

Introducing Humphry Repton
1 Before Repton
2 The Shape of a Career
3 Repton in Business: Working Methods
4 The Public Landscape: ‘Character’ and ‘Appropriation’
5 Domesticity and ‘Cheerfulness’
6 Shaping Style: Influences, Contemporaries, Social Change
Epilogue: Repton’s Legacy

Photo Acknowledgements