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

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Royal Tunbridge Wells
in The Virginians. The party stayed in an old wooden house at the foot of Mount Ephraim, and there, for the Cornhill Magazine, the great novelist wrote one of the most de­lightful of the " Roundabout Papers," " Tun­bridge Toys"—
" As I look up from my desk, I see Tunbridge Wells Common and the rocks, the strange familiar place which I remember forty years ago. Boys saunter over the green with stumps and cricket-bats. Other boys gallop by on the riding-master's hacks. I protest it is 4 Cramp, Riding Master,' as it used to be in the reign of George IV., and that Centaur Cramp must be at least a hundred years old. Yonder comes a footman with a bundle of novels from the library. Are they as good as our novels ? Oh ! how delightful they were ! Shades of Valancour, awful ghost of Manfroni, how I shudder at your appearances ! Sweet image of Thaddeus of Warsaw, how often has this almost infantile hand tried to depict you in a Polish cap and richly embroidered tights ! And as for Corinthian Tom in light blue panta­loons and hessians, and Jerry Hawthorn from the country, can all the fashion, can all the splendour of real life which these eyes have 280
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