Last updated 30/12/10
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Kent

Jane Austen (1775-1817) ,/tr>
GoodnestoneGoodnestoneGoodnestone, 2.5 m S of Wingham, spent holidays, 1794 and 1796, with brother, Edward, after his marriage to the daughter of Sir Brook Bridges, of Goodnestone Park. Edward lived at Rowling House. 1798 holiday at Godmersham, 6m SW of Canterbury, 1798, where Edward and his increasing family now lived. Jane Austen walk in Tonbridge pdf file.
Jane Austen's family on her father's side can be traced in the Weald of Kent to at least the beginning of the 16th Century. Eventually settling in Horsmonden, the Austen's became prosperous clothiers; in a later generation, however, John Austen IV was less provident and when he died his widow, Elizabeth Weller, became housekeeper at Tonbridge School, where subsequently their grandson, George Austen - Jane's father - was educated. Another branch of the family lived at Sevenoaks, while a cousin of Mr Austen marred the wealthy Thomas Brodnax Knight of Godmersham, who presented him to the living of Steventon; it was his son, Thomas Knight II, who adopted Edward Austen and made him the heir to this estates at Godmersham and Chawton. Jane wrote "Kent is the only place for happiness."
Wlkie Collins regularly visited Ramsgate from the early 1870s. He
Charles Dickens (1812-1870) childhood in Chatham. Bleak House, Broadstairs, more properly known as Fort House, built in 1790 with lovely views over the sea. Dickens wrote many of his novels here and entertained Wilkie Collins, among many others. Bleak House was a museum commemorating Dickens until recently when it has once again become a private house. Canterbury has a number of local buildings that feature in David Copperfield. Rochester has the cathedral featured in Edwin Drood and Pickwick Papers.
Cooling has the churchyard and the North Kent marshes that act as the background that opens Great Expectations

Bleak House/Fort House

Ford Madox Ford (1873-1939) lived in Aldington, Kent. Had a farmhouse at Postling. 1890s

David Jones (1895-1974) born in Brockley, Kent and buried in Brockley Cemetery.

Charles Lamb (1775 - 1834) In 1821 Lamb and his sister stayed at Margate, 'for a sea change' and were visited by Charles Cowden Clarke, the friend of Keats. The Lambs seem to have become very excited by the capture of a huge whale. In 'The Old Margate Hoy' Lamb describes seaside resorts in general and is particularly scathing about the stockbrokers of Hastings.

Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593) Born in Canterbury, Kent. Details of early education not known but obviously there was some since, at the age of 14, he won a scholarship to The King's School in Canterbury. All that remains of the church of St. George the Martyr, where Marlowe was christened on 26th February 1564, is the tower. There is a plaque on this tower. The King's School in Canterbury has a plaque to Marlowe on a wall surrounding the Mint Yard. In front of the city's theatre, called the Marlowe Theatre, is a statue of a Muse (Marlowe is known as the Muses's darling) surrounded by small effigies of characters from Marlowe plays.

Edith Nesbit (1858-1924) 1872-75 Edith lived with her family to Halstead Hall in Halstead, Kent. Edith made friends with the Sikes who lived at the Rectory. The railway line was nearby and ran into a tunnel and through steep cuttings as well. These cuttings featured in The Railway Children. She retired to St Mary in the Marsh, Kent and is buried in the churchyard at St. Mary in the Marsh. Wooden memorial, carved by second husband, Tommy Tucker, in the church along with a plaque. A replica of the wooden memorial was made by the Edith Nesbit Society and placed over her grave.
Edith Nesbit rented several holiday cottages in Kent, along the Medway and on Romney Marsh and in Dymchurch. This photograph is of Sycamore House at Dymchurch. The holiday home occupied by Edith from 1904-1911. There is a plaque by the entance. (From Edith Nesbit by Nicholas Reed)
Sycamore House

Mervyn Peake (1911-1968) Educated at Eltham College, Kent

Frank Richards (Charles Hamilton) (1876-1961)
Frank Richards lived most of his life in Kingsgate,Kent, at his home Roselawn. There is now a Blue Plaque commemorating the fact.   He obviously knew the area; many places - the Hengist Stone, a Roman Well, to name but two - are mentioned in his tales of Greyfriars in the Magnet. There is now a Blue Plaque commemorating the fact.  Roselawn
Roselawn
 
Oak Street, EalingHe also lived in Ealing - the only 'record' I have is a photo of the almost demolished house in Oak Street, Ealing (one of many, the family lived rent free in houses to let, courtesy of FR's uncle, an estate agent). It is of very little use - who wants to look at a shot reminiscent of the Blitz! There are two photos of Oak Street just before redevelopment.
Very many thanks to Peter McCall
Oak Street

Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967), the war poet was born on September 8, 1886 at Weirleigh, Kent. He lived and wrote in the house after returning from service in World War I.
Sassoon spent his childhood at the family home in Weirleigh, The house is said to be haunted by the ghost of the poet's mother. The present owner said: "Mrs Sassoon had eczema. She excluded everybody and people were intrigued. "She had cream to put on her skin and people saw her white face when she grew old." During the years in the house, the Wheelers have kept a white African mask at one of the windows to perpetuate the legend. The house is up for sale, 2005.
The tall, narrow house, built in 1866, has a staircase with 92 steps which featured in Sassoon's poetry, linked to memories of childhood.

Edward Thomas (1878-1917) Bearsted, Rose Acre 1 m from the village and then second Rose Acre on the village green. Sevenoaks Weald 1904-06

J.R.Tolkien (1892-1973) Summer 1912 training camp near Folkestone with "King Edward's Horse" (Territorial Army)

H.G. Wells (1866-1946) Born 21 September, at 58 The High Street, Bromley. Educated at a dame school in Bromley and later at Thomas Morley's Academy. In 1880 moved to West Sussex. Came to Sandgate 1898, between Hythe and Folkestone, and moved to Spade House in 1900. (not open to the public but Wells archive available at Folkstone Library)

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