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1933: Fake references at Cuckfield Tea rooms

Mid Sussex Times Tuesday May 30 1933

To the Editor of the Mid Sussex Times

Dear sir, - In 1931 reference was made in your columns to the proposed restoration of the monument of Henry Kingsley in the churchyard at Cuckfield, where the novelist lived, died and id buried. The restoration took the form of a new memorial, on which are inscribed the titles of Henry’s chief books; but so little impression seems to have been made by this record on local intelligence that Attrees, the house where he lived and died has been re-christened “The Kingsley Tea Rooms”, decorated with a sign board displaying a galleon in full sail, and bearing the Inscription “Westward Ho!”

Further, a circular issued by the management suggests as a possible attraction to visitors the probability that Charles Kingsley lived in the house and wrote the classic there.

There is not a particle of evidence that Charles was ever in Cuckfield; and the substitution of the better known name for that of the less fortunate brother is a grave injustice to the author of “Ravenshoe” (which if overshadowed by “Westward Ho!” Is a magnificent romance) and a tampering with facts which, if not corrected, will saddle Cuckfield with a spurious legend deserving no better name than that of a literary fake.

Yours faithfully,

G. Forrester Scott




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