Bookmarked: Humphry Reptons's Fragments of the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening (1816)

Bookmarked: Humphry Reptons's Fragments of the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening (1816)

Gregory Han
Jan 17, 2008

Like many ladies, my girlfriend is a big fan of period pieces and Regency era fashions, architecture and manners. So for this week's Bookmarked, we're taking it back to 1816, illustrating the "Modern Living Room" contrasted with an "Ancient Cedar Parlour" according to one Sir Humphry Reptons' Fragments of the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening ...

Two sketches are introduced, to shew the contrast betwixt the ancient cedar parlour and the modern living room: but as no drawing can describe those comforts enjoyed in the latter, or the silent gloom of the former, perhaps the annexed lines may be allowed to come in aid of the attempt to delineate both.

A MODERN LIVING-ROOM.
No more the Cedar Parlour's formal gloom
With dulness chills, 'tis now the Living Room;
Where Guests, to whim, or taste, or fancy true,
Scatter'd in groups, their different plans pursue.
Here Politicians eagerly relate
The last day's news, or the last night's debate,
And there a Lover's conquer'd by Check-mate.
Here books of poetry and books of prints
Furnish aspiring Artists with new hints;
Flow'rs, landscapes, figures, cram'd in one portfolio,
There blend discordant tints to form an olio.
While discords twanging from the half-tun'd harp,
Make dulness cheerful, changing flat to sharp.
Here, 'midst exotic plants, the curious maid
Of Greek and Latin seems no more afraid.
There lounging Beaux and Belles enjoy their folly,
Nor less enjoying learned melancholy.
Silent midst crowds the Doctor here looks big,
Wrap'd in his own importance and his wig.

Created with Sketch.