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Further Literary Connections

Charles Lamb, essayist, author and friend of Coleridge, who first visited Margate in 1801, recording “the most agreeable holyday of my life” in The Old Margate Hoy.

Revd Richard Harris Barham, who depicted the area in his bestselling Ingoldsby Legends (1837 onwards).

George Eliot, who “had discreet holidays” with Herbert Spencer in Broadstairs (mid-19th century).

Lewis Carroll, who visited Margate’s mysterious Shell Grotto in 1870, describing it as “a marvellous subterranean chamber, lined with elaborate shell-work”.

Oscar Wilde, who considered Margate a “nice spot not vulgarized by crowds of literary people” (1898).

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, whose iconic sleuth Sherlock Holmes urged, “remember the woman at Margate” in The Adventure of the Second Stain (1904).

George Bernard Shaw, who as a poor, unknown young man unsuccessfully applied to become lighthouse keeper at North Foreland, but returned at the height of his fame in 1907 to coach a new actor in his play John Bull’s Other Country at Margate’s Theatre Royal.

Scarlet Pimpernel author Baroness Orczy, who stayed in Minster in 1908 and mentioned Margate in various books

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