BYGONE SUSSEX - online book

Essays, Sketches and Illustrations of bygone Sussex

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IN DENIS DUVAL'S COUNTRY.                37
many who think that in " Denis Duval," which unhappily was still incomplete when death stayed the skilful hand, we have the ripest and mellowest expression of his genius, even though it may lack the supremest touches which mark certain scenes in "Vanity Fair" and "The Newcomes." As in other of Thackeray's works there is local colour, and a visit to " Denis Duval's " country will show to what extent he has reproduced the spirit of the scene even when he has thought it necessary to depart from strict archaeological accuracy. The earlier scenes are laid at Rye and Winchelsea, those two quaint old towns which are the delight of the antiquary and the artist. Thackeray's observant eyes saw the charm of the old-fashioned streets, the antique houses, the ruined towers, the great gates looking landward and seaward, and the long stretch of marsh leading to the waters of the English Channel. There have been few to celebrate in verse the glories and reverses of the " Two Ancient Towns " which watch each other from two hills across the three miles of road and marsh separating them ; but Edward, Lord Thurlow, has written a sonnet, " To Rye in Sussex,"—the approach that is from the sea :—
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