East Sussex

Monday 28 – Thursday 31 October 2019

A 19-20c seaside setting with an ancient and prosperous maritime history; lodestone for Britain’s most celebrated writers and painters: where Henry James wrote ‘The Golden Bowl’, Joseph Conrad wrote ‘Lord Jim’, and ‘The Secret Agent’; where H.G.Wells produced ‘Tono Bungay’, and EF Benson wrote and set no fewer than six of his waspish Mapp and Lucia novels; the place where Radclyffe Hall matched her purple prose to Paul Nash’s radical imagery; the environment that John Piper, and Lucien Pissarro painted: a place that ’could draw unto itself lovely colours: soft greys and soft browns and soft, dark purples; and at sunrise and sunset its red roofs would blaze, and so would the leaded panes of its windows.” We seek to recapture that illustrious time and place through the lectures, readings and the works of art of those who were most productive in this special place.

The Mermaid Inn is one of Britain’s most charismatic inns: secret passageways, winding tunnels, and snugs with crooked, low-beamed ceilings, mullion windows and strange wall carvings depicting Catholic priests fleeing the continent during the reformation. Built in 1420, the inn has long, colourful history. During the 18th century, it was the watering hole of the notorious Hawkhurst Gang, a 600-strong crew of ruthless and often murderous smugglers.

COST: All lectures, tuition, and ‘pastoral’ care, private visits, entries, and transportation during the tour, three nights accommodation with breakfast, lunch and dinner with wine, all coffees and teas. £1285 members, £1335 non-members, no single room supplement, deposit £250. Please note that this cost excludes travel to and from Rye.