I can't see us tackling any of his books at the Book Group either, but clearly Lamb House is essential literary sight-seeing.
We went to Rye on the bus - supposedly for the scenic benefits but we women all chatted solidly throughout the journey there and didn't look out of the window at all.
Of course, we started with coffee and cake, today at the Apothecary House, one of my favourites in Rye. The front window seat is an excellent people-watching spot. I don't think I mentioned this place at all in a post I did a while ago on Shopping in Rye. Recently, it seems to have improved in all areas, less waiting, serves better coffee and cakes, but there is no outside seating and it must get very hot inside on sunny days.
|Apothecary House - excellent people-watching window|
Rumer Godden wrote 'Black Narcissus', the book of one of my favourite films. I just loved that mad Sister Ruth. Made by Powell and Pressburger in 1947, apparently part of it was filmed in Leonardslee Gardens, near Horsham.
Currently, a BBC re-make of Benson's 'Mapp and Lucia' books is underway, featuring Lamb House in its original fictional role as 'Mallards', the home of Miss Mapp. We had to postpone a planned earlier visit to the house because it was closed for filming. (Note to readers: if you want to visit the house, go before it shuts for the season at the end of this October. Once the new telly series begins, you won't get near the place).
Now, I may have struggled with James, 'The Master', but I loved the Mapp and Lucia novels. I think they get a bit neglected these days, but they are honestly, very funny.
Apparently, for the new telly adaptation, they made a temporary reconstruction of Henry James' garden room, where he did his actual writing, with its bow window facing down the street. It was unfortunately bombed in 1940.
|Old photo of Lamb House showing the Garden Room. Apparently Henry James is sitting on the doorstep.|
|Lamb House - the garden|
|Lovely Rye roofscape beyond the walls|
|Lovely round window|
|View towards the church from the parlour|
|One of James' manuscripts|
|A dictated letter - easier to read|
After our visit to Lamb House we had lunch at Hayden's - I am particularly fond of their Welsh Rarebit. Then back on the bus - we all enjoyed our outing.
|Pretty view across the Marsh from the garden at Hayden's|