Tuesday, 4 October 2011

More on Teignmouth

Angela Williams - whose Literary Places blog I've mentioned previously - very kindly sent me some more details about Teignmouth's historical and literary connections, starting with John Keats.

You can see a couple of photos of one candidate for Keats' house on my website: Keats at Teignmouth.

I've spent quite a bit of time roaming the back streets of Teignmouth tracking down the various literary associations - it's well worth making several visits. I've got a lot more pictures still to add to my site including some of another Keats house which the staff at the Museum say is the 'real' one. The 'doggerel' poem is nicely displayed on the exterior wall of a pub down by Back Beach and Keats' description of the beach and sea opposite the Ness in his 'Epistle to J. H. Reynolds' poem still makes perfect sense.

Wilfred Owen went there twice because of the Keats connection - he had relatives in Torquay and it's all recorded in the biog of him by Dominic Hibberd
Charles Babbage was married at the church on the seafront - St Michael's - and Edmund Gosse went to school there too. Then there's the poet Winthrop Mackworth Praed

Yesterday was definitely a "pier, promenade and tea shop" visit. And I must have still been slightly addled from the previously mentioned bug: however did I manage to forget (despite knowing it perfectly well) that Babbage was born in Teignmouth? (Anthony Hyman's 1985 Charles Babbage: Pioneer of the Computer has a section about his early life there - see page 12). A return visit when more compos mentis is definitely in order.

- Ray

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