Saturday, 29 January 2011

Rye

 Rye -Top of West Street

An unused Deacon's Series Rye postcard from the early 20th century. You could still look at this street now and nothing will have changed, the trees by the church have grown, some of the houses wooden slats have been painted white but the cobbled street and all the houses are still there.  The old town sits on sandstone heights so these streets have quite a slope. 

This place is the setting for E.F. Benson's  amusing Mapp and Lucia novels which he renamed Tilling. When I visited I was amazed, the description of the town had been so accurate I could almost imaging scenes from it actually happening.  I have since been told, by someone who lives nearby, that the character(s) of the town he describes could almost be how it is today.  Rye lies near the edge of Romney Marsh and Benson also wrote ghost stories set around the area which are deliciously spooky. This locality must provide much material for writers for Henry James lived here for the last 18 years of his life.

Rye in East Sussex was one of the Cinque Ports protecting the south coast from invasion from the channel but now this is only a ceremonial designation.   Today the town it is a popular tourist destination both for people arriving by road or yacht.

2 comments:

MuseSwings said...

Beautiful! I'll have to check out the author. Love the card and your description of the pretty town.

www.dakotaboo.com said...

Great postcard, and thanks for the literary insight. Yet another place to add to my ever increasing list of places to visit.