Recent Acquisitions feature: Fragments on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening

With our Recent Acquisitions Evening less than a week away, we’re continuing to feature items that will be on display during that event.

illustration: english estate

Have you ever wondered how your estate would look with some minor improvements?

Maybe a few Gothic details on the facade?

illustration: english estate

Perhaps a stately pond?

illustration: english estate

Fragments on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening has you covered.

Humphry Repton was an English landscape designer who anticipated the home and garden before-and-after photo shoot long before its time.

In Fragments on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, published in 1816, he discusses relationships between architecture and landscape design. In an effort to show the aesthetic power of elements like color, water, and fences, he implemented a paper-engineering solution to the problem of being able to show just one image at a time: Repton used a system of hinged panels that are nearly hidden at first glance, but can be lifted to reveal his dramatic proposed changes to several English estates. One estate featured in the book is Harleston Park, which is thought to be the inspiration for Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park. Repton is also mentioned by name in Mansfield Park by the genial but easily led Mr. Rushworth, who chats at length about his passion for estate improvements throughout the novel.


See this remarkable first edition volume at the Rare Book Collection’s Recent Acquisitions Evening, a not-under-glass display of some of the Collection’s notable acquisitions. We hope you’ll join us on March 22 for the unique opportunity to see these incredible items up close.

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