Moving Heaven and Earth

Capability Brown’s Gift of Landscape

Steffie Shields

Moving Heaven and Earth

Steffie Shields

Distributed for Unicorn Publishing Group

240 pages | 350 color plates | 9 1/2 x 11 | © 2016
Cloth $45.00 ISBN: 9781910787151 Published August 2016 For Sale in USA and Canada Only
A world-famous eighteenth-century British figure, Lancelot “Capability” Brown (1716-1783) is today considered the father of landscape architecture. Moving Heaven and Earth reveals the driven polymath behind the famous nickname, exploring both Brown’s artistic legacy and his pioneering work with water in the landscape. The book evaluates the rise of the English landscape garden in the context of his designs. It also provides a comprehensive guide for travelers, with an overview of the 250 sites throughout England and Wales attributed to or connected with Brown. Over 350 magnificent color photographs pin-point Brown’s enduring views and surprisingly vibrant planting palette, showcasing his enduring significance. This beautifully illustrated book makes a fitting tribute to an important historical figure.
 
Contents
Preface
Introduction
Chapter One: Northumberland
Chapter Two: Mr. Brown Engineer
Chapter Three: The Finest Garden
Chapter Four: Clients, Surveys and Proposals
Chapter Five: Contracts and Associates
Chapter Six: Groundwork
Chapter Seven: Lake-making
Chapter Eight: Rivers Real and Illusory
Chapter Nine: Cascades
Chapter Ten: Problems and Pumps
Chapter Eleven: Royal Gardener at Hampton Court
Chapter Twelve: Paints as He Plants
Chapter Thirteen: Now There I Make a Comma
Chapter Fourteen: Shrubbery ‘Sweets’ and Flower Gardens
Chapter Fifteen: Comforts and Convenience
Chapter Sixteen: Freedom to Roam
Chapter Seventeen: Keep All in View Very Neat
Chapter Eighteen: Moving Heaven
Chapter Nineteen: The ‘Kitching Garden’
Chapter Twenty: Full-scale Drama
Chapter Twenty-One: Adversity of Man and Nature
Chapter Twenty-Two: Transition 230
Chapter Twenty-Three: The Mystery of the Garden
Chapter Twenty-Four: Love of Country
Chapter Twenty-Five: Epilogue: Still Capable
Appendix: The Picture Today
Bibliography
Notes
Index
Acknowledgements
 
Review Quotes
Choice

"Anyone interested in English landscape design will love this book on the life and work of landscape architect Lancelot ("Capability") Brown (1716–83).  Lavishly illustrated with Shields's own photographs, the book follows Brown’s career throughout England, beginning in his birthplace in Northumberland and continuing to his work as an engineer and architect—as a sculptor of land and creator of waterways; a planter of trees, shrubbery, and ha-has; and a designer of fountains and inventor of pumps. Stunning photographs of his work at some of the most famous gardens...are accompanied by sketches, paintings, site plans, diagrams, engravings, planting layouts, and letters from illustrious patrons. Beautifully organized and including an excellent bibliography, this book will be invaluable to scholars and connoisseurs of landscape design and 18th-century studies in general, and it will delight Anglophiles. Essential."

The Daily Telegraph
"Shields is [a] landscape historian who has made a special study of Brown over a number of years. Shields believes that Brown cut his teeth as a water engineer at the beginning of his career, in his native Northumberland, where he may have been first employed as a drainage specialist, not a landscape gardener. Her contention is that it was Brown’s technical management of water, including his ability to induce flow through a series of lakes, which set him apart from his contemporaries."
The Blackberry Garden
"There can be no better year to buy a book on this great man, and Shields's book has an engaging personal voice that makes it more than a description of his life and works, it is about experiencing him through Shields's enthusiasm."
 
Lincolnshire Life Magazine
"Moving Heaven and Earth sees the gardening writer drawing on many years of research to provide a thorough overview of Brown’s life and work. published to coincide with this year’s Brown tercentenary celebrations, the book is the result of a twenty-five-year fascination that has seen Shields travel the country, exploring hundreds of Brown’s landscapes on foot. Developing an interest in photography in tandem with her appreciation for Brown’s innovations, Shields includes a wealth of her own pictures in the book. Shields has provided us with a most useful guide with which to encounter and appreciate the beauty of those landscapes where they remain for us to enjoy them today."
For more information, or to order this book, please visit https://www.press.uchicago.edu
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