• The World of William Shenstone

The World of William Shenstone

Audrey Duggan

  • Price: £13.95
  • Publisher: Brewin Books
  • ISBN: 9781858582511
  • Availability: In Stock

In this first biography to appear since the Second World War, rediscovering William Shenstone is exciting. For as the layers are peeled away he re-emerges as the man he was regarded to be in his own lifetime, a talented gentleman of letters.

Shenstone was educated at Solihull School and Oxford where his first Collection of verse was published. Many of the shorter poems have an indefinable charm and his letters, written with bravura and zest, have a sparkle that the years cannot dim. There are also his Pensées, written within that great literary tradition of the French, and which are scattered through with wisdom and with wit which has relevance for today. “Perhaps we should not pray”, Shenstone writes, “to keep us steadfast in any faith, but conditionally, that it be the right one.” From the serious to the inconsequential; whether in love (again) after a visit to his friend, Richard Graves, of Mickleton Manor, or commiserating with Lady Luxborough at Ullenhall over the disappointment of a postponed visit, he is always entertaining.

Today Shenstone is remembered for his garden at The Leasowes in Halesowen which at one time drew visitors from all over Britain. In many ways it was unique, not least for his poems that he “posted” along the walks as a means of direction and guide. At The Leasowes, Shenstone the poet and Shenstone the garden designer worked in tandem.

As a landscape gardener Shenstone’s career was spectacular; and in this book we are introduced to a multi-talented man: a landscape artist who was also an astute, witty and often acerbic commentator upon eighteenth century life; whose perceptions herald many surprises and who is far from being the man so undeservedly denigrated over the years.

Format Paperback
Pages 184
Dimensions 240mm x 170mm
Illustrations 54 black & white

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