Thanet has a rich literary heritage. With visitors from Charles Dickens to Karl Marx, Thanet's Writers are certainly a varied collection of characters and backgrounds.
Each writer had their own reasons for being in Thanet. In the past, many writers and other celebrities came to Thanet to benefit from the sea air a fad inspired by rumours of health benefits. Other writers, such as Iain Aitch were born here or chose to move here (such as Anthony Buckeridge).
Let us take a tour of some of Thanet's more famous writers.
Of all of Thanet's Writers, Dickens is probably the most well known. Certainly, Dickens was one of the most important and influential writers of the 19th century.
He began his literary career as a journalist. His father became a reporter and Dickens began with the journals 'The Mirror of Parliament' and 'The True Sun'.
Notable works by Dickens include The Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, David Copperfield, and A Tale of Two Cities. Of course, he wrote a lot of others but these are the ones that most people have heard of.
Dickens' connection to Thanet
Charles Dickens had a holiday home in Broadstairs, where he wrote David Copperfield. For a period he owned Fort House on a promontory above the town, where he wrote Bleak House, which the location is now called.
Charles Dickens who visited Broadstairs regularly between 1837 and 1859.
In Broadstairs, there are several locations named after this one Thanet Writer. Including a pub, a museum, and a school.
In June, Broadstairs holds a week-long Dickens Festival. First held in 1937, the festival is literary-led and features Victorian costume, traditional Victorian country fayre, a play, and the famous Dickens beach party.
Charles Dickens had a holiday home in Broadstairs, where he wrote David Copperfield. For a period he owned Fort House now called Bleak House.
The Charles Dickens pub, named after the famous writer.
Charles Dickens Links
- Charles Dickens Novels
Charles Dickens was a prolific and celebrated Victorian author. His novels, including "Great Expectations," "Oliver Twist," and "A Christmas Carol" have been enjoyed, studied, and adapted again and again for decades.
- Charles Dickens' Biography
Charles Dickens was a prolific and highly influential 19th century British author, who penned such acclaimed works as 'Oliver Twist,' 'A Christmas Carol,' 'David Copperfield' and 'Great Expectations.' Learn more at Biography.com.
- Top 10 Charles Dickens TV Shows and Movie
It was the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens' birth on 7th February 2012. This article is a look at my top 10 of his novels on film, either in the cinema or on TV.
Have you ever read any of the works of Thanet writer, Charles Dickens?
John Buchan (1875–1940) was rumoured to have based his thriller The Thirty-Nine Steps on the set of steps on the beach at North Foreland, Broadstairs, where he was recuperating from a duodenal ulcer in 1915.
Buchan was highly enthusiastic about literacy and the development of Canadian culture. In fact, he received a state funeral in Canada before his ashes were returned to the United Kingdom.
Buchan's works include The Thirty-Nine Steps, The Magic Walking Stick, The House of the Four Winds among very, very many others
Buchan's connection as a Thanet Writer
Buchan's connection to Thanet is a little more tenuous. However, he is famously said to have based his thriller The Thirty-Nine Steps on the set of steps on the beach at North Foreland.
The Thirty-Nine Steps were written while Buchan was ill and confined to bed with a duodenal ulcer. He and his family went Broadstairs to a private nursing home to help him recover.
Buchan's son, William, wrote in his memoirs that the name of the book originated when the author's daughter was counting the stairs at the private nursing home in Broadstairs. "There was a wooden staircase leading down to the beach. My sister, who was about six, and who had just learnt to count properly, went down them and gleefully announced: there are 39 steps." Eventually, the house was demolished and a section of the stairs, complete with a brass plaque, was sent to Buchan.
John Buchan Links
- John Buchan - Wikipedia
- List of works by John Buchan - Wikipedia
- The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan – giddy action and vivid cameos | Books | The Guardian
The somewhat clumsy escapades that lead the reader through this spy caper are steadied by the wonderfully sharp incidental characters
Have you ever read the works of or seen an adaptation of any of the works of John Buchan?
Karl Marx (1818–1883) was a German philosopher, economist, historian, political theorist, sociologist, journalist and revolutionary socialist. He was also a Thanet writer (see connection Thanet below).
Marx developed the theory of international communism and co-authored 'The Communist Manifesto' with Friedrich Engels. He published numerous books during his lifetime, the most notable being The Communist Manifesto (1848) and Das Kapital (1867–1894).
Marx connection as a Thanet Writer
Marx is known to have stayed in Ramsgate some nine times. As too did his comrade Friedrich Engels. His eldest daughter Jenny Longuet Marx (1844–1883) lived for a period at 6 Artillery Road.
Marx is known to have stayed at Hardres Street
There is a Blue Plaque which says "Karl Marx 1818-1883 communist revolutionary stayed here in 1879"
Marx eldest daughter Jenny Longuet Marx lived for a period at 6 Artillery Road
Karl Marx Links
- Key Concepts of the Philosophy of Karl Marx
A summary of the main ideas of the philosophy of Karl Marx and his conception of communism.
- Karl Marx - Journalist, Historian, Economist, Philosopher - Biography
Revolutionary, historian and economist Karl Marx published The Communist Manifesto, the most celebrated pamphlet in the socialist movement.
- BBC - History - Historic Figures: Karl Marx (1818 - 1883)
Discover facts about Karl Marx the philosopher, who developed the theory of international communism and co-authored 'The Communist Manifesto' with Friedrich Engels.
Have you ever read The Communist Manifesto?
Anthony Buckeridge (20 June 1912 – 28 June 2004), was an author and Thanet writer best known for his Jennings and Rex Milligan series of children's books.
During the Second World War, Buckeridge served as a fireman. During this time wrote several plays for the stage before returning to teaching in Ramsgate.
He was awarded the OBE in 2003 and sadly passed away in 2004.
Anthony Buckeridge's connection as a Thanet writer
Buckeridge was not just a writer with a connection to Thanet but a full-time resident writer of Thanet. He lived in Ramsgate and taught at St. Lawrence College. There is now a Blue Plaque commemorating Buckeridge at the college which reads "Anthony Buckeridge O.B.E. 1912-2004 Author of the 'Jennings' stories taught here".
St. Lawrence College
Anthony Buckeridge lived in Ramsgate and taught at St. Lawrence College.
Anthony Buckeridge links
- Anthony Buckeridge | The Independent
Anthony Malcolm Buckeridge, schoolmaster, actor, writer and broadcaster: born London 20 June 1912; OBE 2003; married 1936 Sylvia Brown (one son, one daughter; marriage dissolved), 1962 Eileen Selby (one son); died Barcombe, East Sussex 28 June 2004.M
- Obituary: Anthony Buckeridge | Books | The Guardian
Prolific author whose prep schoolboy hero became a literary icon for generations of children.
- BBC Radio 7 - Anthony Buckeridge - Jennings Again! - Next on
Have you ever read, heard, or seen a story by Anthony Buckeridge?
T. S. Eliot
T. S. Eliot
T. S. Eliot (26 September 1888 – 4 January 1965) was a poet, playwright, and literary and social critic. He moved from his native United States to England in 1914 at the age of 25, settling, working, and marrying in the UK. He became a British subject in 1927 at the age of 39.
Notable poems by T. S. Eliot include Preludes, Rhapsody on a Windy Night, and Macavity: The Mystery Cat.
T. S. Eliot's connection as a Thanet writer
All the Devils are Here, a literary journey around Kent's coastal towns by David Seabrook examines T. S. Eliot's time in Margate.
T. S. Eliot visited Margate in October 1921 with his wife Vivien to stay at the Albermarle Hotel in Cliftonville. From the hotel the 33-year-old took a tram each day to the open timber structure, which overlooks Margate Sands and Nayland Rock, to concentrate on his writing.T. S. Eliot wrote part of The Waste Land in Margate in 1922, whilst recuperating from nervous strain.
Mr Seabrook, who recently died, said last year that he thought Eliot could have been influenced by observing disabled war veterans on the promenade.
The Nayland Rock Shelter in Margate where T. S. Eliot is thought to have written part of The Waste Land has been given Grade II listing status.
T. S. Eliot links
- Analysing Thomas Eliot's (T.S Eliot) Poems: 'The Hollow Men' and 'Preludes'
This article discusses the relationship between individuals and their worlds through T.S Eliot's poems, 'The Hollow Men' and 'Preludes.'
- T.S. Eliot | Biography & Facts | Britannica.com
T.S. Eliot: T.S. Eliot (1888–1965), best known for the poem The Waste Land (1922), was among the most important Modernist poets.
- Journeys With The Waste Land review – mixing memory and desire in Margate | Art and design | The Gua
In the town where TS Eliot wrote much of The Waste Land, his great poem echoes down the years in an evocative show that ranges from Edward Hopper to Tacita Dean
- A Critical Analysis and Literary Summary of "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T. S. Eliot
An examination of the T. S. Eliot's poem, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.
Have you ever read or heard the works of T. S. Eliot?
Iain Aitch is an English writer and journalist who lives in London. He is the author of the travel book "A Fête Worse Than Death" and "We're British, Innit".
He has also written articles for The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph.
Iain Aitch connection as a Thanet writer
Iain Aitch is an English writer and journalist who was born in Margate.
Iain Aitch links
Have you ever read a book by Thanet born writer, Iain Aitch?
Budding Thanet writers
Thanet still has writers
Thanet still has writers to offer. Many of whom are yet to be discovered. The number of writers' circles and charities in Thanet attests to this. Perhaps you too are a Thanet Writer?
Further Reading about Thanet's Writers
- Writers of Thanet
Thanet Creative (a writers' charity) gives a rundown of the famous writers from Thanet.
- Thanet celebrates its literary heroes - The Isle Of Thanet News
- History and Heritage of the Isle of Thanet - Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate
Learn more about the history of the Isle of Thanet made up of Margate, Broadstairs, Ramsgate and surrounding villages
- List of people from Thanet - Wikipedia
Famouse people (including writers) from Thanet.
Are you a Thanet writer?
Do you have a connection to Thanet
© 2018 Matthew Brown