Kent’s literary connections

by Lisa01 on December 17, 2012

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(Guest post, not on property law but on some interesting residents from Kent). We probably all know that Kent is known as the ‘Garden of England’ and that there is much to be boasted about by both residents and letting agents. Kent, however, also has many prominent literary connections – something many people are not aware of. The county not only features in lots of classic British literature but was home to many much-loved authors, providing inspiration for some of the most famous stories ever written.

Letting Agents Kent

Below are just a few of those interesting connections:


Going right back to the 14th century, Kent featured in Geoffrey Chaucer’s ‘The Canterbury Tales’ – a series of stories about a group of pilgrims who were en route to Canterbury Cathedral, to the shrine of Thomas Beckett. The funny, saucy and sometimes critical tales depict society at the time, including the Miller, Knight, Wife of Bath and Pardoner. Visitors can find out more at the Canterbury Tales museum in – unsurprisingly, Canterbury.


Most Austenites associate Jane with Hampshire and Bath, but the author of ‘Pride and Prejudice’ also had connections with Kent, making several journeys to the county to visit her brother, James. She often stopped over in Dartford and was known to have stayed at ‘The Royal Victoria & Bull’ on at least on occasion. There is also a Jane Austen literary walk which encompasses the writer’s connections with Tonbridge.


Much is known of Charles Dickens’s connection with Kent. His family moved to Chatham when he was just five and young Charles was particularly fond of Broadstairs. He famously based ‘Great Expectations’ spooky opening sequence on the Kent marshes, where Pip meets the escaped convict, Magwitch. It was in Broadstairs – now a much-sought after location for those looking to move home – where Dickens wrote many of his novels, including ‘David Copperfield’ and ‘Bleak House’.

The county celebrates its connections with Dickens with themed walks and blue plaques. The Tartar Frigate pub was a favourite haunt and still stands today, welcoming locals and visitors alike. Plus, for one week each year, the Dickens Festival sees fans and residents ‘turn back the clock’ and dress up as some of the author’s iconic characters. Watch out for Bill Sykes, though.


Okay, not strictly an author as such, the scientist Charles Darwin had strong links to Kent, living in Down House, Downe, for some 40 years. It was here that he wrote ‘The Origin of Species’ and the house is open to the public. The gardens are especially worth a visit, knowing that they in-part may have inspired Darwin. An exhibition and narrated tour will allow interested parties to find out more.


Moving forward into the 20th century, children’s favourite Roald Dahl moved to Kent with his family as a school boy. He wrote about his harsh school experiences in ‘Boy’. However, it was while at school in Repton that he got the idea for his greatest book, ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ – Cadbury’s used to send new bars to the school for ‘testing’.

Of course, Kent features widely in the works of many more authors that just those mentioned above, but it goes to show that the county has played an important part in literature for many hundreds of years.

About the author:

Stephen Dedalus started her career as market analyst and has worked for many companies for the last 5 years. After a long gap he has started sharing her experience with his readers and has written many articles on Letting agents.




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