Last updated 7.10.05
home page
Author-County Index

West Sussex

Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953)1877/8 the family moved to Slindon, near Arundel. Their second home there was The Grange. In 1903 Belloc returned with his family renting first Bleak House and then Court Hill Farmhouse. In 1906 Belloc purchased King's Land in the hamlet of Shipley, near Horsham. This included a house, five acres of land and Slindon Mill, a great white smock mill of 1879, which is now restored. He lived in Kingsland until 1953. His Hills and the Sea (1906) is a fine description of the landscape. Buried Our Lady of Consolation, West Grinstead. His memorial in Shipley is the Shipley Windmill near Billingshurst.

E.F. Benson (1867-1940) lived Tremans, Horsted Keynes, West Sussex, under private ownership, Rye

William Blake,(1757-1827) In 1800 Blake was taken up by the wealthy William Hayley, a mediocre poet and patron of poets, who commissioned him to illustrate his Life of Cowper, and to create busts of famous poets for his house in Felpham. The Blakes lived in Hayley's house at Felpham in Sussex, staying there for three years. It was in this cottage that Blake wrote Milton: a Poem. In 1803 Blake was charged at Chichester with high treason for having 'uttered seditious and treasonable expressions, such as "D-n the King, d-n all his sibjects..."' but was acquitted.

Charles Dickens (1812-1870) made regular visits to Brighton where he gave readings of his works at the Royal York Hotel which attracted large crowds. Dombey and Son was written whilst staying at the old Bedford Hotel.

Graham Greene, (1904-1991) 1926 Brighton, hotel at 32 Regency Square, later at Crowborough.

Richard Jefferies (1848-1887) 1881 the family moved to Savernake House, Lorna Road, Hove. In 1885, after the death of his infant son, they went to Rehoboth Villa (now Brook View House), Jarvis Brook, Rotherfield, Sussex, before moving to The Downs, high on Crowborough Hill, and finally to Sea View (now Jefferies House), the Bottom of the Sack (now Jefferies Lane), Goring by Sea, where he died on 14 August 1887, aged thirty-eight, of chronic fibroid phthisis (a form of tuberculosis) and exhaustion. He was buried on 20 August at Broadwater cemetery, Worthing. (white marble surround with cross laid within surround due to vandalism, his son is also commemorated on the simple memorial) there is also a plaque on the wall of the chapel to commemorate both Richard Jefferies and W.H. Hudson, bust in Salisbury Cathedral

David Jones (1895-1974) After the war he met Eric Gilll at the newly formed Roman Catholic community of craftsmen, the Guild of Saint Joseph and Saint Dominic on Ditchling Common, Sussex (9 miles north of Brighton).
Ditchling Common

Sheila Kaye-Smith (1887-1956) often stayed at Dormans Park Hotel, near East Grinstead. Nearby Dormansland is the setting of the novel Three Against the World pub. 1914.

George Macdonald (1824-1905) Ordained in his first and only pastorate, the Trinity Congregational Chapel at Arundel, Sussex, in 1850. Married Louisa Powell 1851. Resigned on reduction of stipend, 1853.

E.J.Oxenham (1880-1960) 1922, She lived in the family home in Farncombe Road, Worthing her father died and she and one of her sisters bought their own house a few streets away, which is today lived in by her niece. EJO remained in Worthing until her death in January 1960.

John Cowper Powys (1872-1963) Taught in various girls' schools at West Brighton. Lodged at Southwick Harbour, Hove where he lectured at a school run by Miss Walder at 26 Wilbury Road, another run by Miss Heatley at 5 The Drive and a third run by the Misses Cadwallader at 39-41 Tisbury Road, as well as several, including Mrs Barber's in Mill Road, in Eastbourne. In around 1896, moved to Lewes and rented Court House, an ancient farmstead in the shadow of the downs.

Shelley (1792-1822) born Warnham, on the outskirts of Horsham. Horsham Museum has a small gallery devoted to Percy Bysshe Shelley. Published his first book of verse and The Necessity of Atheism in Worthing. The latter resulted in his expulsion from Oxford.

Angela Thirkell (1890-1961) August Folly (1934) was written while Angela Thirkell was staying at West Hoathly (West Sussex) and is very obviously set there, while what is now the Bluebell Line was the model for the railway in the Barsetshire novels (Horsted Keynes=Worsted, the high and low levels at Winter Overcotes existed at East Grinstead, and so on).   

Edward Thomas (1878-1917) lived in Bersted 1901-04

Anthony Trollope (1815-1882) In 1880, at the age of 65, Trollope returned to the country and moved into what was to be his final house, The Grange, at South Harting in West Sussex.

H.G. Wells (1866-1946) Became an assistant master at Midhurst Grammar School in 1883. His mother was housekeeper at Uppark near South Harting.

Also: H.E.Bates, Tangmere
Wlifred Blunt, Southwater
John Galsworthy, Bury and Littlehampton
William Henley and W.H.Hudson, Worthing
John Keats, Chichester
D.H.Lawrence, Greatham
Mervyn Peake, Burpham
W.B.Yeates, Steyning
J.C.Powys, Burpham
Percy Bysshe Shelly, Warnham
Francis Thompson, Storrington
Evelyn Waugh, Shoreham
Andrew Young, Hove
Oscar Wilde, Worthing, wrote Importance of Being Earnest 1894 in Worthing

 Any addditions please email :
Webmaster, Writersgate Thank you