button to main menu  Gents Mag 1788 p.950

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Gentleman's Magazine 1788 p.950

  William Gilpin
  Observations on the Northern Lakes

William Gilpin's Observations on the Northern Lakes

Oct. 24.
I HAVE latly perused Mr. Gilpin's Observations on the Northern Lakes, and think he has displayed great taste and judgement in discriminating the beauties of landscape from its defects. I have long been intimately acquainted with the scenes he delineates, and feel singular satisfaction from the truth and brilliancy of his descriptions; but there are some passages in his book, which, I presume, are fair subjects of criticism. Having confined his travels to the limits of his native isle, Mr. Gilpin seems to have formed erroneous notions of the face of foreign countries, to have drawn comparisons, and to have settled precedences, with being warranted by facts.
For example; it is surely too bold an assertion to pronounce, that England excels all other countries in beauty of landscape. Had he confined it to verdure and neatness, I should concur most heartility with him; but its mountainous parts are inferior in every respect to similar tracts on the Continent, and its lakes are certainly not superior in beauty to those of Italy and Switzerland. An immense proportion of England is still uncultivated, and void of picturesque charms; many of the cultivated parts are ugly, almost all of them tame and uninteresting, in the opinion of a painter. ...

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