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WHO WAS 'THE FAMOUS MR. BROWN', and why are his parks still so important? Today he is credited with laying out every piece of parkland in Britain, while others accuse him of single-handedly sweeping away all the formal gardens that preceded the Landscape Movement. If he was indeed the greatest of all designers of man-made landscapes, how should we properly understand and appreciate his work and his legacy? In this comprehensive study of the man and his creations, the author follows an introduction to the culture and society of 18th-century England by tracing the rise of the Landscape Movement. He then provides a carefully researched account of Lancelot Brown's humble origins and rising fortunes, his marriage and family, the course of his career and mounting fame and recognition, culminating in his appointment as Master Gardener to George III. 'We have reached the peak of perfection', wrote Horace Walpole, 'we have given the true model of gardening to the world; let other countries mimic or corrupt our taste.' The idyllic landscapes which surround so many of the great country houses seem to be native English landscape at its best; yet they are not some lucky accident of nature but the result of careful planning, perfect taste and a vast amount of groundwork and planting, shaped by one man's vision. In a unique exploration of Brown's style and techniques, 15 of his major works are described in full and illustrated with original plans, 18th-century pictures and modern photographs. The Gazetteer provides detailed information on all his other estates and their present condition. This important work first appeared in 1985 since when the author has revised the text, now re-set, and updated the Gazetteer. For those whose interests lie in understanding the history of gardening, landscape design or 18th-century society there is much to be found here, but equally this book will sharpen the appreciation of Brown's work for all those who have visited his estates and enjoyed his enduring achievements.