Antiquity is capable of rendering the merest trifles, things in themselves the most insignificant, interesting: as every antiquary knows. The success of Horace Walpole's version of garden history lay in the fact that he was able to make an ideological polemic appear as the neutral relation of stylistic change. Homer's garden is demythologized before our eyes only to be re-mythologized as the landscape of Hanoverian Britain. By the later eighteenth century a crucial element of that mythology was of a landscape garden almost miraculously 'discovered' as a wholly native art in the early years of the Hanoverian succession; and part of the power of that myth lay in political readings of English garden design as an image of English liberty. In the public gesture of gardening, landowners could equate themselves with the achievements of constitutional liberty and assert their dominance over aesthetic taste even as that taste was characterized as the shared property of the nation.