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Although the history of literature and the history of art are so closely interwoven as to be indispensable to one another, it has been extremely difficult for readers of literature to gain any knowledge of the arts of design because the information is widely scattered in books written by specialists for specialists. Recognizing this fact, B. Sprague Allen has taken a corner of the vast field and discussed the development of taste in England during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. His book is an account of taste, that is, the likes and dislikes of the men who built and furnished houses and laid out gardens in this period of English culture. Their taste is revealed to a hitherto unrecognized extent in diaries, letters, essays, and plays, and is an index of English civilization. Allen has thus been concerned with the whole complex pattern of living and has made us think and feel and see with the faculties of the cultivated Englishman of two or three hundred years ago.