William Beckford, A descriptive account of the island of Jamaica, 1790, p. 8-9: “There are many parts of the country that are not much unlike to, nor less romantic than, the most wild and beautiful situations in Frescati, Tivoli, and Albano; and want of these picturesque and elegant ruins which so much ennoble the landscapes of Italy, are made some amends for, in the painter’s eye, by the appearance, the variety, and the number of buildings.”
Recitativo jctv: Dear William I am calling from 2002, There are lots of ruins in the landscape. The landscape is not ruined. There is a question in my mind whether these modern ruins have ennobled the landscape. I think they probably have. They have an epic quality.
In describing a sixteen mile walk Beckford writes to conjure up the absent ruins, the desired landscape of arcadia: “the rocks are, in some places smooth and naked in others they exhibit ruins, arches, towers and caves.” William Beckford, A descriptive account of the island of Jamaica, 1790, p. 23.