John Shenton Bright.

A history of Dorking and the neighbouring parishes, with chapters on the literary associations, flora, fauna, geology, etc., of the district online

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Online LibraryJohn Shenton BrightA history of Dorking and the neighbouring parishes, with chapters on the literary associations, flora, fauna, geology, etc., of the district → online text (page 9 of 28)
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choice works of art in the mansion, which include water-colour
and oil-paintings, valuable china, statuettes aud other
ornamental objects. There is an apartment named "The
Burney Room" which contains the original manuscripts of
the novels "Evelina," "Cecilia," and "Camilla," with
many of the authoress* original letters, and other papers
relating to her friends and correspondents. The pictures on
its walls consist of portraits of Fanny Burney, afterwards
Madame D'Arblay; Queen Charlotte, her Royal Mistress;
Dr. Burney ; Dr. Johnson, her friend ; Baretti ; Richard
Brinsley Sheridan, and others of her distinguished con-
temporaries. As an additional ornament, there are plaques
of choice Wedgewood manufacture; and, to complete the
arrangement, there are early editions of her works, and
such as relate to her life and times.

Her son, the Rev. Alexander D'Arblay, who had taken
orders in the Church of England, was appointed to Ely
Chapel. The place had long been shut up, and during the
first days of his ministry he caught influenza, and in three
weeks from his first seizure, died on January 19, 1887, to the
great sorrow of his mother, who was then in her eightieth
year. She died on January 6, 1840.



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DISTINGUISHED RESIDENCES. 115



CHERKLEY COURT.

This magnificent residence was recently built by
Abraham Dixon, Esq., and presents an imposing aspect,
towards the south and west, of a wide and attractive
landscape. The views towards Norbury, Denbies, and
Leatherhead, are singularly impressive, and by their quiet and
beauty, incline the spectator to doubt whether he is within
a few miles of the vast population and earnest life of the
metropolis. The interior of the mansion is rich in pictures,
and various ornamental objects, which have been gathered
during the frequent and extensive travels of the owner. The
conservatories are rich in rare and curious plants ; and the
tropical department contains fine fruiting bananas, palms,
nelumbiums, pontederias, bougainvillias, and other growths,
which attract by their colour and fragrance.

Below the mansion, on the south, there is a yew wood of
considerable extent, and solemn and impressive aspect. It
is quite unique in this neighbourhood, and probably is
unrivalled by any similar collection of trees of this order in
our country. Many of these yews are of a patriarchal age,
and are much diversified in tint of foliage and variety of
form. Some are pyramidal ; others are like a dome in
shape; and many are curiously irregular in their growth.
One is called " The Cauliflower Yew," from its close
resemblance to that plant ; and another is twenty-four feet
in girth, and has a trunk singularly knotted and contorted,
as if it had had a hard and troubled existence.

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116 DISTINGUISHED RESIDENCES.

Near this wood is the old Roman Road which ran from
the South Coast to London. There are traces of a camp
now, through the lapse of time, growth of plants and trees,
not very discernible, but where the Romans who accompanied
Julius Caesar in his second invasion of Britain probably
halted, and especially as near at hand is a patch of clay
amidst the surrounding chalk, where water could be obtained.
Coins have been found near the camp which bear the names
of Augustus, Vespasian, and Domitian, and other Roman
Emperors. Some pottery has been discovered, consisting of
domestic vessels, and cinerary urns which contain fragments
of bones. Coins of a more modern date have been found
which are French, and belong to the time of Louis XVI., but
how they were brought there it is impossible to explain.

Abraham Dixon, Esq., is the second son of Abraham
Dixon, Esq., of Whitehaven, Co. Cumberland, by Laetitia,
daughter of John Taylor, Esq., of Gomersal, Co. York,
born 1815, married 1847, Margaret, daughter of Richard
Rathbone, Esq., of Liverpool, and is J.P. for the county of
Warwick.



HOPE AND THE DEEPDENE.

Evelyn and Aubrey speak of this place with admiration ;
the former observes, "August 1, 1655, I went to Dorking
to see Mr. Charles Howard's amphitheatre, garden, or solitary
recess, being fifteen acres environed by a hill. He shew'd us
divers rare plants, caves, and a laboratory." Aubrey is
much more profuse in his description, and remarks, " Here



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DISTINGUISHED RESIDENCES. 117

the Hon. Charles Howard hath very ingeniously contrived a
* long Hope * (i.e. according to Virgil, Deductus Vallis) in the
most pleasant and delightful solitude for house, gardens,
orchards, boscages, &c, that I have ever seen in England.
He hath cast this hope into the form of a theatre, on the
sides whereof he hath made several narrow walks, which are
bordered with thyme, and some cherry trees, myrtles, &c.
Here was a great many orange trees and syringas ; and the
pit (as I may call it) is stored full of rare flowers and choice
plants. The house was not made for grandeur, but re-
tirement, neat and elegant, suitable to the modesty and
solitude of the proprietor, who in this iron age lives up to
that of primitive times. Here are no ornaments of statuary
or carver, but the beauty of the design and topiary speak
for itself, and needs no addition out of the quarries. In
short, it is an epitome of Paradise, and the Garden of Eden
seems well imitated here."

Aubrey visited the spot between 1673 and 1692, and
speaks with still greater enthusiasm of the place, which may
be partly due to the " civil entertainment given to him by
Mr. Newman (the steward) by his master's order," and
declares that " the Pleasures of the Garden, &c, were so
ravishing that I can never expect any enjoyment beyond it,
but the Kingdom of Heaven." Mr. Howard died on the
81st of March, 1718, and was interred in a vault in Dorking
Church. The following tribute to his character was written
by Lady Burrell, and aflixed to some brick-work which formed
part of his laboratory.

"This votive tablet is inscribed to the memory of the
Honourable Charles Howard, who built an Oratory and
Laboratory on this spot. He died at the Deepdene in 1714.



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118 DISTINGUISHED RESIDENCES.

If worth, if learning, should with fame be crown'd,

If to superior talents fame be due,
Let Howard's virtue consecrate the ground,

Where once the fairest flowers of science grew. #

Within this calm retreat, th' illustrious sage,

Was wont his grateful orisons to pay ;
Here he perused the legendary page,

Here gave to chemistry the fleeting day.

Cold to ambition, far from courts removed,
Though qualified to fill the statesman's part,

He studied nature in the paths he lov'd,
Peace in his thoughts, and virtue in his heart.

Soft may the breeze sigh through the ivy boughs
That shade this humble record of his worth ;

Here may the robin undisturbed repose,
And fragrant flowers adorn the hallowed earth."

This fine property descended to the Hon. Charles Howard,
of Greystoke, who died in 1720; then to his eldest son,
Henry, who died without issue ; afterwards to Edward,
9th Duke of Norfolk; then to the 10th Duke, and finally
to Charles, 11th Duke, who sold it to Sir William Burrell
in 1791. Subsequently the estate was sold by Sir Charles
Merrik Burrell to the late Thomas Hope, Esq., father of
Henry Thomas Hope, its late owner, whose widow still
possesses the estate.

The Hope family is of great antiquity; one of them,
John de Hope, swore fealty to King Edward I. in 1296.
Another of the same name came from France in the retinue
of Magdalene (eldest daughter of Francis I.), the first Queen
of James V. He promoted the Reformation in Scotland, and
his son Henry was much engaged in foreign trade, particularly
with Holland, and married Jacqueline de Tott, a French lady,

* G. Bobins, the celebrated auctioneer, suggests that " Deep Dene was
originally Deep Dens, seclusion and mystery being the grand accompaniments of
science in those days, when a dark chamber, a long beard, a parrot and a
crocodile, constituted a philospher."



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DISTINGUISHED RESIDENCES. 119

by whom he had two sons, viz., Henry, who settled in
Holland, and was the founder of that opulent branch of
Hopes who were merchants in Amsterdam ; and Thomas, of
Craighill, who attained great eminence as a member of tho
Scottish Bar, was appointed Lord Advocate, and created a
Baronet of Nova Scotia, 1628.

The afore-mentioned Henry Hope had a son who married
Anna, the grand-daughter of Sir Thomas Hope, and their
son Archibald married Anne Glaus. Thomas was the third
son of Archibald and Anne, and married Margaret Marselis,
whose children all died except one, John Hope, who married
Philipina Barbara Van der Heaven, and had issue three sons,
Thomas, Adrian and Henry Philip. In the "Annual
Register" for 1780 it is stated that the father of Thomas
Hope, author of " Anastasius " died on the 26th of December,
1779 ; and that he was descended from the elder branch of
the Hopes of Scotland; raised the credit of the house of
Amsterdam;* presided as Representative of the Prince of
Orange, first in the West India, and afterwards in the Dutch
East India, Companies. As a merchant he would prescribe
laws to the Sovereigns of the East, and greatly sway the
scale of empire in Europe."

Thomas was the distinguished author of "Anastasius"
and other works, who purchased the estate, and, in 1806,
married the Hon. Louisa Beresford, younger daughter of the
Bight Rev. William, Lord Decies, Archbishop of Tuam.

The late Mr. Thomas Hope has left at the Deepdene, and
in English literature, numerous and decisive proofs of his

* The present Hope family is in possession of great wealth, and has a rich
and extraordinary number of jewels, one of which, the property of the late
H. T. Hope, Esq., of the Deepdene, is a blue diamond valued by Mr. Streeter, at
£30,000.— ( Times, November 3, 1381.)



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120 DISTINGUISHED RESIDENCES.

powers in the use of the pencil, and his ability as an author.
His work of fiction entitled " Anastasius, or Memoirs of a
Greek," contains the result of careful observations of the
scenery and inhabitants of the Mediterranean shores and
islands. There is much quiet humour in the tale, especially
when Anastasius is about to become a Mussulman, faintly
objects to his teacher that the Mohammedan faith cannot
become universal, because in high latitudes the fast of
Ramadan (which requires abstinence from food from sunrise
to sunset) would extend over some months, and the faithful
would die of hunger; and after suggesting some other
difficulties, the following counsel is tendered as conclusive
against all objections. " Whenever you meet with an infidel,
abuse him with all your might ; and no one will doubt you
are yourself a stanch believer." Anastasius remarks "I
promised to follow the advice/' Mr. Hope's work on
"Architecture," is rich in illustrations of the churches of
Northern Italy, and became a pioneer in the revival of public
interest in that branch of the arts. His volume on
" Furniture," condemns the flimsy and gaudy style which
was then prevalent in France, and was imported into our own
country. Another publication which showed his knowledge
and industry was " The Costume of the Ancients," which
contains illustrations of the dress, weapons, and worship of
many historic nations, and has been of great use to artists,
who, under its guidance, have given both truth and beauty to
their works.

His patronage of art was extensive and crowned with
distinguished success. Under his encouragement Flaxman
produced a series of illustrations of Dante's "Divina
Gommedia." The original drawings form a part of the



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DISTINGUISHED RESIDENCES. 121

treasures of the Deepdene Library, and though probably too
statuesque and classical in character for mediaeval subjects,
impressively represent the principal incidents of that sur-
prising poem. Several choice pieces of sculpture from the
hand of Flaxman adorn the vestibule of the mansion.
Mr. Hope was a signal benefactor to Thorwaldsen, the
celebrated Danish Sculptor, who, having been supported by a
government allowance, was about to leave Borne in dejection
and disappointment. He was brooding over his want of
success. There stood the model of his Jason, a figure of
surprising beauty, which no one had given him a commission
to execute in marble. Mr. Hope was detained in Borne by a
passport difficulty, and ordered the Vetturino to drive him to
Thorwaldsen's studio, and generously gave him the desired
commission. It stands at the Deepdene, and is one of its
many ornaments. The classic beauty of the face, the sweet-
ness of the lips, the upper one just curled in superb disdain
of the foe, and the grace of the limbs, attest the genius
of the sculptor, and justify the insight of the patron.
Thorwaldsen always kept the anniversary of Mr. Hope's visit
as the most auspicious event in his life; and testified his
gratitude in a way which showed the power of his hand, the
vigour of his imagination, and the fervour of his gratitude.
He presented his patron with a votive mural tablet, upon
which he had sculptured in alto relievo a graceful female
figure, pensive and dejected, though still persevering in the
use of style and tablet ; the lyre, the symbol of joy, is laid
aside and mute; the owl, the emblem of night, obviously
intimates darkness and sorrow ; the flame of the lamp seems
ready to go out when the genius comes, whose wings are not
yet folded from swift and recent flight. He has scarcely



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122 DISTINGUISHED RESIDENCES.

drawn near to the lamp before he lifts the oil-cruse, and pours
forth the much desired supply. The inscription, " A Qenio
lumen" expresses the meaning of the design, which was to
symbolize the timely and seasonable relief which Mr. Hope
afforded, and the light it shed on the future career of the sculptor.



The exterior of the mansion is imposing, and reminds



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DISTINGUISHED RESIDENCES. 123

those who have been in Borne of some of the historic palaces
which abound in that city and its environs. It was much
improved and embellished by the late Henry Thomas Hope,
Esq. ; and the interior and the open loggia have recently been
decorated by French artists in a style which shows con-
siderable refinement of taste. The entrance hall is a square
apartment with a gallery on three sides, which contain choice
works of art. In the basement are to be seen

" Oephalus and Aurora " by Flaxman.

" The Belvidere Apollo" a copy by Flaxman.

" Venus coming from the Bath" copy from Canova by
Bertolini.

" Antinous" a copy from the antique.

" Tits Emperor Hadrian" antique.

"Hygeia" an antique.

" A Shepherd and Dog," by Thorwaldsen.

" Silenus and Bacchus" group in bronze.

" The Gladiator," in bronze.

" The Medici Apollino" a copy in Carrara marble.

" Athenian Boy" pulling a thorn from his foot; in bronze,
by Pisani.

" The Crouching Venus" in bronze.

" The Oapitoline Doves" mosaic.

There are copies of the Lanti Vase in bronze; large
Tazze — a beautiful cenotaph ; busts of Soman Emperors, and
a fine copy of the Florentine Boar.

The galleries contain "A Genius" in bronze; "Jove's
Eagle;" "The Knife Grinder;" " Diana and Antinous;"
" Master Charles Hope ; " " Master Adrian Hope ; " " Master
Henry Hope;" "Mrs. Hope;" and "Lord Wriothesley
Russell;" all by Thorwaldsen. "Henry Philip Hope" by



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124 DISTINGUISHED RESIDENCES.

Bartolini ; and many other choice works of art.

The Deepdene is not only rich in statuary but possesses
many admirable and priceless pictures, which were originally
in the Palais d'Orleans, and were acquired by the late
Thomas Hope, and further increased by his son, Henry
Thomas Hope, and by Mrs. Hope, who is the present owner of
the mansion. The details which are now introduced have
been enriched by extracts from a catalogue of the pictures,
prepared by Cecil Lister Kaye, Esq., who has obligingly
allowed the author the privilege of making them.

The Vestibule contains two fine works by Gauffier, a
Roman artist. The first represents "Ulysses and Nausicaa; ,,
and the second, " Hector reproaching Paris ; " both Homeric
subjects. " The Six Poets " are by Giorgio Vasari, whose
"Lives of Painters, Sculptors, and Architects" supplies
much interesting information not found elsewhere. The
picture represents Petrarch, Dante, Guido Cavalcante,
Bocaccio, Gino da Pistoia, and Guiton d'Arezzo.

The Great Hall is, in addition to the superb sculpture,
adorned with a fine picture of " Henry Philip Hope," brother
of Mr. H. T. Hope, by Sir Thomas Lawrence. There is a
small monument on the terrace to the memory of Henry
Philip Hope, with the inscription,

•• Fratri Optimo, H. P. H."

There are a " Venus and Adonis " by Carlo Maratti ; " The
Last Supper " by Jordaens ; and " Damocles " by an
unknown artist. This picture was bought by Mr. T. Hope of
a Frenchman named Dubost, who received a commission
from him to paint a portrait of Mrs. Hope, which was done
so badly that he could not be the painter of "Damocles,"
and his name was erased from the picture. In revenge he



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DISTINGUISHED RESIDENCES. 125

painted and exhibited a picture which was a caricature of
Mr. and Mrs. Hope, under the title of "Beauty and the
Beast," until Mr. Beresford, the brother of Mrs. Hope, cut it
to shreds in the presence of a large number of spectators.
There is a fine work which represents the "Author of
Anastasius " in Turkish costume, and is full length and life
size.

The Ball Gallery has the fine picture by Haydon which
represents the " Bepose of the Holy Family in their flight to
Egypt." There are " Orpheus attended by the Mus6s of
Poetry and History," by N. Poussin; "Damocles," by
Westall; and "Judith and Holofernes," by the great artist
Giorgione ; " Death of Adonis, " by Bubens ; " St. Francis,"
by Fra Bartolomeo ; " Angelica and Medoro," by Guercino ;
and a " St. Sebastian," by Andrea del Sarto.

The Billiard Room is adorned with the grand picture of
" The Fall of Babylon," by Martin ; painted for Mr. Hope,
and is a companion picture to " The Fall of Pompeii," by
the same artist. There is a cool " Landscape " by G. Poussin;
and two " Views of St. Albans " by Mulready ; " The Holy
Family attended by Angels," by N. Poussin ; and a " Portrait
of the Duke de Yalentinois," alias Ceesar Borgia, by Gorreggio.
There are three fine Marine pieces by Vandevelde and
Backhuysen. The gem of this apartment is " The Temptation,"
by Titian ; of which " the colouring is extremely fine, and
the head of our Saviour is admirable for the expression of
goodness and divine wisdom. The Tempter is represented by
a young man holding a stone in his hand. Drawing, colour,
and the grand effect of this picture, render it worthy of the
highest eulogy; and it ought to be regarded as one of the
most valuable works of the master."



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126 DISTINGUISHED RESIDENCES.

The Library Corridor contains "The Music Master," by
Sharp, which gained the first prize in 1809, was purchased
by Mr. Hope from the Directors of the British Institution.
"The Importunate Author" is by J. S. Newton, and is a
scene taken from Moliere's Comedy of "Le Facheux."
There are Dutch Landscapes by G. Berkenheyde. "The
Violin Player," by Uchterveld; "Views in Venice," by
Marische; " The Bepose in Egypt," by Gauffier; and "The
Singing Lesson," by Tarken.

The Library has a fine portrait by BaffaeUe of "Marc
Antonio," the eminent engraver; a "Magdalen," by L.
Carracci ; a " Saint Cecilia," by Domenichino ; and
" Lucretia " and " Boman Daughter and her Father," usually
called "La CharitS Bomaine," by Guido. There are two
valuable works by Holbein, one of which is a portrait of
some one now unknown ; and the other of his friend and the
distinguished Scholar " Erasmus," and has the date 1582 a.d.

The Boudoir is adorned with several portraits of the Hope
family, among which may be noticed those of Mr. Adrian
Hope, born 1709 ; Mr. John Hope, born 1751, and his wife
nee Fhilippina Barbara Vander Hoeven ; a charming portrait,
the Hon. Mrs. Hope, by Sir Thomas Lawrence; Mr. and
Mrs. Thomas Hope; Master Charles Hope, as Bacchus,
youngest son of Thomas and Hon. Mrs. Hope, by Lawrence ;
General Sir John Hope, Mr. Thomas and Mr. Adrian Hope
as children, with a dog. There is an admirable picture of
Mrs. Hope, the present owner of the estate, in a grey dress,
with a row of pearls round her neck, by Lacretelle, an
eminent French Artist.

The Drawing Room has two fine pictures of " Fruit and
Flowers," by Van Huysum, and two works with the same



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DISTINGUISHED RESIDENCES. 127

subject by Van Os. " The Madonna and Child," by Perugino,
is eminently beautiful for arrangement and colour. Mieris is
seen to considerate advantage in two choice examples, which
are a "Lady Buying Poultry," and its companion picture a
"Lady Buying Fruit." "The Interior of a Church in
Italy" is by Canaletti; "St. Peter Healing the Sick," by
Schidone ; " St. John the Baptist," by Domenichino ; a
portrait by Denner ; " The Interior of a Church," by Arnold ;
and a "Female Saint," by Baffaelle, holding her drapery
with one hand, and a flower in the other.

The Small Drawing Room is devoted chiefly to the works
of artists of the Dutch School, among which may be noticed
a "Landscape," and a "Bepose in Egypt," by Van Huysum;
"Scene in Holland," "View in Holland," "The Hawking
Party," " The Stadthaus in Amsterdam," and " The Hague,"
by Berkenheyde, — all faithful representations of scenes and
buildings in Holland, with which country the name of Hope
is honourably associated.. There is a "Street Scene," by
P. C. La Forguo," "The Judgement of Paris," by Mieris;
and a " Dutch Scene," by Vander Heyden — much admired
by Sir Joshua Beynolds, who remarks, that it has "a
view of a Church and two black friars going up steps.
Notwithstanding this picture is finished very minutely,
Vander Heyden has not forgotten to preserve great breadth
of light."

The Small Dining Room is rich in portraits of the Hope
Family. " Lady Decies," mother of Hon. Mrs. Hope, is by Sir
Joshua Beynolds. "Hon. Mrs. Hope and Children," the
two boys are Henry and Adrian Hope. " Mrs. Henry
Hope," by Phillips ; a fine portrait of " Eev. W.
Harness ; " " The Burgomaster and his Family," which



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128 DISTINGUISHED RESIDENCES.

represents Mr. Hope, of Amsterdam, his wife, two sons and
two daughters. Then follow portraits of the " Children of
the Duke and Duchess of Newcastle," and include those of
the Earl of Lincoln, Lord Francis, Lady Beatrice, Lady
Emily, and Lady Florence Pelham Clinton.

The Dining Room is rich in chefs-d'ceuvres of Raffaelle
and Veronese. There is a "Magdalen," by Correggio,
which was once taken to Spain by the second wife of
Philip V., and afterwards returned to Italy by one of her
household. The documents of the Boman Academy verify
the work as the production of Correggio. There is a " Holy
Family," by Schidone ; a " Holy Family, St. Mark, and
the Doge Banieri, ,, by Tintoretto. The Doge is reading out
of a book which Joseph is holding, and our Saviour is
pointing to it. There is an impressive "Betrayal," by
Guercino ; and a fine " Charity," with the usual emblem of
little children, by Vandyke ; and the " Incredulity of
Thomas," by Guercino. The two pictures by Veronese are
among the finest works of the artist. The first to be noticed
is " The Contention of Virtue and Vice for the possession
of the Artist." This represents a woman having the hands
of a harpy holding a pack of cards in her hand, and leaning
towards Veronese who is flying away from her, and throws
himself into the arms of Virtue who is coming forward and
holding him. Vice is rising from her seat, and under her
drapery there is a bust of a sphinx and a poignard. Behind
her is a fragment of a monument, on the cornice of which
is written

" Honor et Virtus post mortem florent."

The face of Vice is hidden as if the artist anticipated the



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DISTINGUISHED RESIDENCES. 129

sentiment of Pope,

44 Vice is a monster of such frightful mien,
As to be hated needs but to be seen."

The other picture, the " Marriage of Wisdom and Strength,"
has a lovely landscape. Wisdom in the form of a beautiful
woman raises her looks towards heaven, and her forehead
is adorned with a bright star or a conventional figure of the
sun. At the base of the colonnade near which she sits is the



Online LibraryJohn Shenton BrightA history of Dorking and the neighbouring parishes, with chapters on the literary associations, flora, fauna, geology, etc., of the district → online text (page 9 of 28)