“Half memoir, half travel, A Yank Back to England...is an absolutely wonderful book, not only about going home again but also about love and family and tradition and the passage of the years.”
—Michael Dirda, Pulitzer Prize-winning literary critic (Washington
To see the entire quote, click here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Of smugglers, real and fictional

The Mermaid was replete with secret passageways, a hide-out for contraband and a meeting place for smugglers! According to the walking guide Frances had picked up at the hotel, as Rye’s importance as a seafaring port diminished, its importance as a smuggler’s haven increased. The notorious Hawkhurst Gang used to hang out at the Inn, no doubt sipping their illicit contraband while keeping a watchful eye out for revenue officers. However, the hostelry’s most famous smuggler was fictional, Thorndike’s Doctor Syn, the vicar of Dymchurch! Frances rolled her eyes as I again rambled on about all his yarns, many of which featured Rye’s Mermaid Inn. For me, those fictional memories were suddenly anchored in reality.

1 comment:

JamaGenie said...

Rye has long been on my *must see* places, and I'll definitely add the Mermaid Inn as a "not to be missed" stop. Sounds quite exciting and mysterious!