More appraisals of Rye

Here are four more quotes about Rye to add to those already in the section  Said about Rye. |Click the heading at right.)   These come from Frank Palmer and were included in the Speaker’s Day booklet for Saturday, September 21st 2013.

In 1678 Samuel Jeake, Historian, Town Clerk, author of Charters of the Cinque Ports, Two Ancient Towns, and their Members wrote:

The Town is a beautiful Prospect to look upon anyway, a convenient Passage into Normandy, famous for Fishing, as good Fish having been brought to Market (before the French Spoiled the Fishing Grounds) as any in England, and yet the Fish keep the Name of the Town, as Rye Herring, to sell the better in London.

Henry James, author, generally loved the town and early on wrote:

. . .  the special note of Rye, the feeling of the little hilltop community, bound together like a very modest, obscure and impecunious, but virtuous and amiable family . . . .

 but in 1908, halfway through his residence in the town, he wrote  in a discouraged mood (from which he recovered) that :

Rye was going to the dogs with increase of population, villas, horrible cheap suburbs, defacements, general ruination.

E F Benson,  Henry James’  successor at Lamb House, and Mayor of Rye in 1934, wrote:

There is not in all England a town so blatantly picturesque, nor one for the lover of level marshland, of tall reedy dykes, or enormous sunsets and rims of blue sea on the horizon, with so fortunate an environment.

Finally, Dr J A Williamson in his book The English Channel (1959) declared that

Rye, seen from afar, is a foundation of England.

First posted in Said About Rye on 18th December 2013
Last updated: 19th October 2014
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