Thursday, March 17, 2011

Holiday Reading

I’m going on holiday soon to an area that I’ve never visited before. We’re off to Hastings, and one of the things I always do before any vacation is to research what’s there and who used to live in the area. After I’ve done that I try to find some holiday reading that is relevant to where I’m staying.

Apparently Dickens was fond of Hastings and gave readings at the old music hall (which is now a Yates’s Wine Lodge). The source I’m using online says “Hastings features in many of his works” but fails to identify which ones.

Another son of Hastings appears to have been Lewis Carroll who, in spite of being born in Cheshire, spent time there as a student with his good friend the artist Harry Furniss.

Catherine Cookson moved to Hastings as a young woman when she became laundry manageress of the local workhouses (later a hospital) and was married in the town. She’s a Northerner really though, and most of her books, as far as I am aware, are set in Northumberland (or at least Tyneside and higher latitudes).

Dante Gabriel Rosetti stayed in Hastings in the 1860s and apparently married Elizabeth Siddall there but he’s an artist. I suppose I could find something non-fiction about him and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood but it’s not really what I want.

Six miles east of where we’ll be staying is the town of Rye, which also has a lot of literary connections. The town lays claim to several such as Henry James, Joseph Conrad, H G Wells, G K Chesterton and E F Benson, who wrote the Mapp and Lucia series.

So what does everyone think?  Which of the many literary giants with links to East Sussex should I choose?


Sandra Davies said...

Of all unhelpful comments you may or may not receive, this will probably qualify as the most ... we rode through Rye last year and I was, again, teased with memories of a book read in childhood, which had an inn, smugglers and a black cat. Unfortunately, although I have an image of wet black pavements and a swinging inn sign I know no more!! [sorry!]

MorningAJ said...

Oh that's a shame because an inn, smugglers and a black cat sounds perfect!

Anonymous said...

Wow, what history! I'd probably choose HG Wells.

Happy travels! :D

PS, so glad you joined our blogfest!

Jarmara Falconer said...

I would go for Lewis Carroll then if I got bored I could always find the nearest rabbit hole to fall down and find myself have a new adventure.:-)
Thank you for dropping by my blog. Have a lovely holiday.