There are, of course, lots of books relating to Doctor Who in the cottage – but I am also trying to build up a libray of books relating to the local area. These include the Doctor Syn books by Russell Thorndike, the childrens books by Malcolm Saville and the Mapp & Lucia books by E.F. Benson.
I am also hoping to add books by Rumer Godden, John Ryan, Clive King, Monica Edwards and John Christopher who all had links to or wrote stories set in the area. More on these as I add them to the library.
My brother found a copy of ‘The Little Kingdom’ by Richard Church in a charity shop and as it seemed like the sort of thing that guests would enjoy I obtained a copy on Amazon for the cottage.
It is an anthology of poems, folk ballads, patches of descriptive prose, snatches of history that bring to life two thousand years of the story of Kent. It is illustrated by John Ward A.R.A (who also lived in Kent) and his delicate drawings are very evocative. Here are two of Romney Marsh (click on them to enlarge):
Of Dungeness and Lydd, Richard Church writes a very lyrical piece which ends:
“I cannot imagine how these people make a living; but they appear to do so, and to thrive sufficiently to make the life attractive. They dig into the shingle and find delicious fresh water. This is miraculous enough, and maybe it is a symbol of other vouchsafements by which their habits are enriched. I should not be surprised if they have a technique for extracting honey from the sea. Where does that fresh water come from, since Lydd has the lowest rainfall in England?”
I don’t know if that last statement is true – but if so, it bodes well for holiday makers at the cottage!
I have also obtained a copy of Richard Church’s novel, The Bells of Rye. This exciting and colourful adventure story is set in Rye in the 1370s when the French attacked and burned Rye and carried off its church bells and the men (and some boys) of Rye and Winchelsea reciprocated in the following year. John Finch the boy hero lives on Watchbell Street. He and a sharp-witted hunchback foil a traitor’s ambush by stowing away on one of the avenging ships. Actual events and characters of the time form the background of the story: a good introduction for youngsters to a key episode in Rye’s history.