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The Temporality of Taste in Eighteenth-Century British Writing$
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James Noggle

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199642434

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199642434.001.0001

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The Britishness of the Present at Stowe

The Britishness of the Present at Stowe

Chapter:
(p.64) 2 The Britishness of the Present at Stowe
Source:
The Temporality of Taste in Eighteenth-Century British Writing
Author(s):

James Noggle

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199642434.003.0003

The landscape garden was considered a uniquely English, uniquely modern art form—a uniqueness derived in part from the intensity of immediate tasteful experience that places like Stowe elicited. The first of three sections shows that William Gilpin’s Dialogue Upon the Gardens of…Stow seeks to join spontaneous pleasure at Stowe with sense of nationalistic destiny, but comes to recognize the gap between them can never be quite closed. The second demonstrates that Joseph Warton’s poem The Enthusiast uses Stowe to represent the corrupting history of British taste, yet his alternative, the sensory immediacy provided by nature, gains meaning only within the corruption narrative that Stowe helps him tell. The third section argues that while Horace Walpole only indirectly looks at Stowe in his seminal History of the Modern Taste in Gardening, it models an immediacy of affect for all modern gardens that distorts and finally demolishes his attempt to narrate their past, present, and future.

Keywords:   Stowe Landscape Garden, taste, temporality, modernity, William Gilpin, Joseph Warton, Horace Walpole

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