The title “A Collection of designs for rural retreats, as villas” precisely reveals the general content of the Book. As the title suggests, it deals with rural retreats in the form of villas. The author’s tone sounds educational; however, he does use casual language which would suggest, that he is sharing his knowledge to those interested, instead of writing this book purely for academic purposes. Especially at the beginning, the author uses a lot of rhetorical questions to explain the benefit of rural retreats in general, seemingly from a philosophical standpoint.
While the book does not have a list of contents, it has a very clear structure. The first half consists of 4 chapters laying out the theoretical bases. Firstly, discussing the meaning and advantages of a rural retreat. After a brief introduction, he then goes more into detail on the designs of villas as well as their light apartments and how they should be structured. The second half of the book consists of multiple illustrations of villas and few light apartments. In the first half of the book, the author already actively alludes to these depictions and examples. Furthermore, he dedicates one half of each chapter on villas and light apartments to look at the illustrations in more detail and uses the illustrations he picked himself to critique, comment and point out the elements that would serve as good examples according to his previously explained standards.
The examples shown are always depicted clean and detailed with the according measurements. Most of the pictures show elevations of the villa and their immediate surrounding. Occasionally there will be a picture of the villa’s floor plan to add to the elevations.
The author seems to focus a lot on the form and shapes of which the villas are made of. Even going as far as to judge the beauty of a shape by the kind of shadows it would cast.