It had to be a Fitzgerald for August’s Book of the Month.
I visited Chartwell in Kent, the home of Winston Churchill for 40 years.
As our Summer begins to morph into mists, your beauty regime might like a change too. Here are my favourite products for right now.
Thou art not, Penshurst, built to envious show,
Of touch or marble; nor canst boast a row
Of polished pillars, or a roof of gold;
Thou hast no lantern, whereof tales are told,
Or stair, or courts; but stand’st an ancient pile,
And, these grudged at, art reverenced the while.
Thou joy’st in better marks, of soil, of air,
Of wood, of water; therein thou art fair.
The first few lines of the poem ‘To Penshurst’ by Ben Jonson published in 1616 illustrate how highly the poet regarded the beautiful country house Penshurst. By virtue of disregarding what makes other houses, it is, in Jonson’s opinion, far superior.
I went to Kent for a long weekend away in the countryside and my first stop was the fascinating Penshurst Place.
After seeing the inspiring Richard Dadd exhibition, I went along to the William De Morgan exhibition in the next room at the Watts Gallery.
‘He was considered a violent and dangerous patient (…) After he killed his father, his rooms were searched and a portfolio was found containing likenesses of many of his friends all with their throats cut.’
So artist Richard Dadd’s condition was described in his Casenotes from Bethlem, a psychiatric hospital, in 1854.
My enthusiasm for historic houses is unparalleled.