A Dialogue Upon the Gardens of the Right Honorouble the Lord Viscount Cobham at Stow in Buckinghamshire

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Stowe is certainly the most documented of all English Augustan gardens, and William Gilpin's Dialogue probably one of the most important accounts of it. He was at Stowe in 1747 and published his record of that visit anonymously the following year.The Dialogue reached a second edition, with some slight alterations in the text, in 1749 and a third in 1751, when the dialogue was transformed into narrative. The Dialogue recommends itself both to the historian of the English landscape movement, in which Stowe was a prime exhibit, and to the student of the later vogue for the picturesque, in which Gilpin was a major participant. His account of Cobham's gardens illuminates some of the connections between the cult of the picturesque that Gilpin fostered with his publications of the 1780s and the earlier eighteenth-century invocation of pictures in gardens.
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March 14, 2013
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