2

the seasons of a life

INTRODUCTION

A companion to the first chapter, and concluding my investigation of the early picturesque, this chapter provides a detailed study of the garden that Kent designed at Rousham, Oxfordshire, between 1738 and 1741. The chapter is organised into three interconnecting sections, each with a specific theme. The first, ‘The Genius of the Place’, focuses on the ideas, images and emotions that Rousham evokes. Recognising two distinct attitudes to atmospheric phenomena in classical antiquity — one a theory of meteors, the other a practical guide to the weather — the second section, ‘The Weather of the Place’, assesses their relevance to the early eighteenth century, when rural England was yet to feel the true impact ...

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