People, Society & Culture of Tunbridge Wells in the 18th Century & later.

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Royal Tunbridge Wells
of, and more visitors came. Nowadays a great landowner has often set himself to develop or create a holiday resort, and in more than one instance has been rewarded for his trouble with a vast fortune. At the beginning of the seventeenth century, however, the English watering-place had not yet come into existence. There was, indeed, no demand for any such resort, for people had not developed the habit of taking holidays, or, anyhow, of taking them away from home. Travelling was so incon­venient, so full of hardship, and so dangerous, too, that even the wealthy, who could reduce the difficulties to a minimum, were not inclined to take more journeys than were necessary; while it was, further, so expensive, that the poorer classes could not have indulged in it even if the spirit had moved them. London was the rendezvous of the aristocracy, who met there, and nowhere else, for the diversions in which they indulged; going sometimes to their country-seats to partake of such sport as was to be obtained, and, even whilst there, looking forward to the time when they could return to the metropolis and partake again of the pleasures dear to their hearts. In the country they were doomed to solitude, there 26
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