The book ”A Dissertation on Oriental Gardening” by William Chambers in 1772, focuses on the ways, mainly, the Chinese built and decorated their gardens in comparison to the western civilisations, who used symmetry and tried to put everything under control. According to his observations the Chinese gardens are made so as to evoke emotions and respect the nature around them, which is not really the situation in west.
The author, William Chambers, was an architect who got to spend time in several countries and had the chance to experience different cultures, observing their way of living and their creations. This means he had a great amount of knowledge on the subject he was writing and first hand information. He assumably was aiming to introduce different ways of gardening and architecture so as to increase the variety and make the present way of things, in a way, more interesting and innovative.
The title of the book gives up the theme of it. It is self explanatory and not pretentious. The reader understands exactly what awaits him. One can also assume that it is for the people who don’t know much about the culture and the oriental way of building and decorating. It is also to be seen that there is a part written for the king, mentioning, that this dissertion is to be read without prejudice. According to this one can assume that what will be presented is not yet accepted and common in this society.
There is no list of content or illustrations if the book is considered generally. The lack of a list is probably because of the type of the text, which is a thesis and is fluent. The lack of illustrations on the other hand may be balanced with the help of the rich descriptions. As the subject is gardens one can expect to see more illustrations, however it probably was not that easy to have that many, and specific, illustrations on the subject at that time. Like mentioned before it was not common for the people of this community to know and produce about the oriental gardening.
In relation to the paragraph before it is logical to assume that this book was made as a source for consultation and observation. This guess may as well be confined by the size of the book. It is big and not so thin. Whereas it’ s size again makes it obvious that it isn’t an encyclopaedia.
To conclude one can clearly understand what kind of an audience and aim this book has. Introducing different cultures and new ways by comparing and presenting what the “Orient” has to offer, the author manages to catch the readers attention and make the reader want to learn more about it.