Make sure your volume is on: "Sir George talks about follies"
Hello and welcome, my dear friends. I am Sir George Staunton, second Baronet Staunton, Member of Parliament, botanist, expert in Chinese matters, tea magnate, and of course, the owner of this wonderful pleasure garden… but you can call me ‘Sir George’ for short, since you are my guests.
So you are interested in follies! I will be most delighted to show you the best ones in my pleasure garden and tell you a bit about them. I hope you don’t mind walking … they are mostly grouped around the lake.
First things first – a folly is a small ornamental building that one puts into a landscape to make it look more picturesque. They can be big or small, hidden away or right on the top of a hill, but the idea is to make a scene that really pleases the eye.
They are also an opportunity to show off your taste and culture, which is why a particularly tasteful and cultured man like myself builds so many of them. Twenty-eight of them, I think, at last count … but don’t worry, we won’t do them all.
Use the map to find your way to one of the follies and then ask me to explain what it is about, and I think you will be mightily impressed!