in banishing every appearance of Art, or any traces of the footsteps of man, it would then be no longer a Garden.' As for Chambers, he found that Brown's designs 'differ very little from common fields, so closely is common nature copied in most of them'.Chambers himself was not without critics, of course, and many regarded his exploration of chinoiserie as nothing more than spurious Orientalism. Horace Walpole considered Chambers Dissertation on Oriental Gardening with disdain. It is 'more extravagant than the worst Chinese paper,' he wrote, 'and is written in wild revenge against Brown; the only surprising consequence is, that it is laughed at, and it is not likely to be adopted.' William Mason, to Walpole's evident delight, responded with An Heroic Epistle to Sir William Chambers which took the architect soundly to task for his absurdities. Frenchmen were only too pleased to see in Chambers's writings, and in his layout of the grounds of Kew, sound evidence (as Le Rouge put it) that 'tout le monde sait que les Jardins Anglais ne sont qu'une imitation de ceux de la Chine'. Fuelled by the theoretical and topographical writings of William Gilpin, and Burke Philosophical Enquiry, all was now set for the controversies of Knight, Price and Repton which began in the 1790s and ran into the nineteenth century.The century that spans the period between the Fire of London and the foundation of the Royal Academy was a dynamic and significant one for the visual arts in England. Horace Walpole, who lived through many of the years we have considered, and was familiar with the rest, loved and promoted the fine arts with boundless enthusiasm. He had a few words about the recording of such achievements. 'It is pleasing to expatiate on the just praise of one's country,' he wrote in the Introduction to his Anecdotes of Painting in England, 'and they who cannot perform great things themselves, may yet have satisfaction in doing justice to those who can.'
Select bibliography
This list does not include eighteenth-century works referred to in the text.
General
Allen, B. S. Tides in English Taste (1619-1800): A Background for the Study of Literature. 2 vols. Cambridge, Mass., 1937; repr. New York, 1958.

-235-

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The Eighteenth Century
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Table of Dates ix
  • 1: Introduction: The Writer and Society 1
  • Select Bibliography 79
  • 2: Politics 81
  • Select Bibliography 118
  • 3: Religion and Ideas 120
  • Select Bibliography 151
  • 4: Science 153
  • Select Bibliography 201
  • 5: The Visual Arts 208
  • Select Bibliography 235
  • Index 240
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