AN HISTORICAL AND DESCRIPTIVE ACCOUNT OF CROOME D'ABITOT, The Seat Of The Right Hon. The Earl Of Coventry; With Biographical Notices Of the Coventry Family To Which Are Annexed An HORTUS CROOMENSIS And Observations On The Propagation Of Exotics.
First edition, with subscribers' list, of this scarce guide book for Croome Court, the Worcestershire country seat of the Earl of Coventry which was notably transformed by Capability Brown in the mid-eighteenth century. The first portion of the text provides detailed descriptions of the site, the family, the approaches and entrances to the domain, the house (also designed by Brown), and, most importantly, the pleasure grounds and the Park, one of the "largest undertakings of Brown's early practice" (-Stroud, CAPABILITY BROWN, pg. 57). "In the grounds created out of what had been 'as hopeless a spot as any in the island', he formed a serpentine lake, built a grotto at the head of the water, and designed a tunnel under the main road to link parts of the estate. In this demanding commission, his success established beyond doubt his ability as an architect as well as as a landscape designer" (OXFORD COMPANION TO GARDENS, pg 75). These features are all described by Dean, accompanied by illustrations which depict the temple, the mansion (with view of the bridge), a view of Brown's church and one of his rotunda. Post-Brownian features such as the greenhouse designed by Robert Adam and the memorial to Brown are described in the text. An appendix provides extracts from historical notices of Croome and its occupiers starting with the Domesday Book and concluding with a description of the garden from the GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE, 1792. William Dean was the gardener at Croome and cultivated over 5000 different varieties of plants there, including a substantial collection of exotics. He has included with his guide a 147 page HORTUS CROOMENSIS, which provides a catalogue of these plants giving Latin binomial, English name, place of origin and time of flowering. In conclusion, Dean provides two short essays entitled "Observations On The Progagation of Exotics. (Part I, from Cuttings; Part II, from Seeds)" Abbey Scenery 416. 8vo (20 x 12.2cm); 161 + (1) pp. + 12 unnumbered pp. of subscribers’ list + 4 aquatint engraved plates including frontispiece.
Original paper over boards, soiled, with newer paper spine sympathetically aged, remnant of original spine label relaid. Original endpapers; some discoloration from aquatints on opposite text sections.
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