By a mile, this is the most brilliant and most influential essay ever written on English garden history.
For two centuries it mapped the whole landscape of the subject.
However, the author was partial in the highest degree.
Horace Walpole believed in progress, in modernization, and the superiority of everything English to almost everything that had gone before.
He had a special dislike of Baroque gardens, as exemplified by Versailles, which for him symbolized absolutism, tyranny, and the oppression of nature.