Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Henry James of Lamb House

A photo of Lamb House in Rye, Sussex, where Henry James lived 1898-1916 which I visited while staying with my friends Jean and Barry Floyd. James wrote his three late novels here : The Wings of the Dove (1902), The Ambassadors (1903), and The Golden Bowl (1904). He wrote in a small house in the garden which was unfortunately destroyed by a German bomb (the planes unloading on their way back home during the blitz).

Visitors to the house
included Joseph Conrad, H.G. Wells and Ford Maddox Ford, and it later became home to two other famous authors E.F. Benson (author of the Mapp and Lucia novels set in Rye) and Rummer Godden.

The property is now owned by the National Trust and many of James' personal possessions were on display including some fascinating letters.

I hope at least a smigeon of James' genius was sticking to the wall and reattached itself to me ...

Saw another of Rye's famous writers, though just in passing, Freddie Lees (whose trilogy is to be publsihed soon by Monsoon Books in Singapore) was just getting off the train from London as I was about to get onto it to go back.


Chet said...

I've been to Emily Dickinson's house in Amherst, MA, but no pictures - actually, I didn't even remember visiting it until I read something I wrote quite a few years later. Also, Norman Rockwell's house - love his paintings, and do have a picture somewhere of me standing next to the sign saying it's his house.

Sorry for name-dropping. This is my claim to literary fame.

Kak Teh said...

Sharon, you saw Freddie? A pity you couldnt meet up. Will call him soon as he has invited us over.

bibliobibuli said...

met his wife and she has a lot of great stories to tell too.

Freddie looked great, could swear he's getting younger.

Pursewarden said...

Hello, Sharon

I tried to send this to you at your email address, but it got rejected, so hope you don't mind me leaving it here as a comment.

I was looking through your blog and saw your current entry on Lamb House. I’m guessing that you are a fan of Benson as well as James, and was wondering if you might feel like mentioning my own Mapp and Lucia book, “Major Benjy” (link below) which was published last year with the blessing of Benson’s estate. Feel free to lift the cover image from Amazon if you like, or I could send you one.

I really like your blog. I have my own (Pursewarden, below) and would be delighted to have a mutual link to/from yours if you like.

Best wishes,

Guy Fraser-Sampson

My new website http://www.guyfs.com

Major Benjy http://www.troubador.co.uk/book_info.asp?bookid=627

My Literary Blog http://pursewardenblog.blogspot.com/

bibliobibuli said...

it's lovely to meet you. i am a fan of henry james, but have never read any of e.f. benson's books. my friends showed me some of the episodes on video and now that i know rye a little and have visited the house, would love to read the books. the characters seem so deliciously bitchy.

i will go check out your blog right away

my email is now sharonbakar@yahoo.com

Elaine said...

Hi Sharon
Just thought I'd mention an omission in your list of Rye's literary residents: Radclyffe Hall. Maybe not in the same league as the others, but a significant figure nevertheless.


Pursewarden said...

A little know fact: one of the last tenants of Lamb House before it passed to the National Trust was Rumer Godden, author(ess) of "Black Narcissus"