On the first Friday of February after leaving St Edward’s Presbytery and dropping my sister off at Ramsgate Station I headed to the little seaside resort of Broadstairs. It’s practically part of Ramsgate but definitely a separate place. I liked very much what I saw. I’d always been intrigued by views of the town which show Charles Dickens’s Bleak House on a cliff looking out to sea. You can see it in the middle of the picture below. There are several Dickens connections in Broadstairs and I probably didn’t see all of them. At that early hour in the morning I was able to park easily near the sea front. As near as you can get by car, anyway. There are pleasant gardens and paths separating the beach from the road and the main streets and narrow lanes behind.
Sadly, I have to report that The Red House Museum in Gomersal closed its doors for the last time today. I last visited this former home Mary Taylor, a dear friend of Charlotte Brontë, in July for a History Wardrobe performance and I have visited very many times in the past. We signed the petition but to no avail.
Sissinghurst Castle and Garden
Can it really be three years since some of us from the online book group met up on a summer’s day outside London? At least, it was in 2013 that I last posted about one. That was in Malvern and before that, in 2012, Chatsworth. This year it was the turn of Sissinghurst.
Last September when I met up with my online book group friend sherry in Marion, Massachusetts she presented me with a copy of Elizabeth Bowen‘s ‘The Shelbourne Hotel : an enchanting account […] of the hotel that for more than a century has been at the heart of Irish life’. Tucked inside the book was this postcard (no date, but probably early 20th century) :
On our last day together in Ireland Monique and I were staying at Howth Harbour overlooking Dublin Bay. We had decided to take a walk round the Head following the Bog of Frogs Loop and Purple Arrows. Here is adapted the website description interspersed with my own photos. And here is a map of the route taken. Continue reading
Portrait of Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Those of you with a literary bent will recognise both titles from the one above and surmise, quite correctly, that I have been staying in Florence recently.
Back in early January my friend Simon over at Stuck-in-a-book, having found out that I’d read Claire Harman’s Charlotte Bronte: A Life late last year, asked me to a write a review of it for his online publication Shiny New Books. I said I would and several brain racking weeks later presented him with this. Continue reading