The Isle of Thanet has a rich history of literary connections. Which is marketing speak for lots of interesting writers have been connected with Thanet.
In addition to the lively and varied Thanet literary scene that make up the community of writers and poets in Thanet, there have been a good many famous writers from the area.
- Jefferson Hack, (born 20 June 1971), publisher, journalist and model, lived for many of his childhood and teenage years at Beach Grove, Cliffsend, near Ramsgate.
- Karl Marx (1818–1883) is known to have stayed in Ramsgate some nine times. As did his comrade Friedrich Engels. His eldest daughter Jenny Longuet Marx (1844–1883) lived for a period at 6 Artillery Road.
- John Buchan (1875–1940) was rumoured to have based his thriller The Thirty Nine Steps on the set of steps on the beach at North Foreland, Broadstairs, where he was recuperating from a duodenal ulcer in 1915.
- Brian Degas, author, writer and creator of the TV Series Colditz, lives in Broadstairs.
- Charles Dickens, novelist, had a holiday home in Broadstairs, where he wrote David Copperfield. For a period he owned Fort House on a promontory above the town, where he wrote Bleak House, which the location is now called.
- Frank Richards (pen name of Charles Harold St John Hamilton; 1875–1961), writer of the Billy Bunter novels, lived in Kingsgate, Broadstairs.
- Stevie Smith, poet, spent several years on and off in a sanatorium near Broadstairs while suffering from tuberculous peritonitis as a child.
- Iain Aitch is an English writer and journalist who was born in Margate. I’ve never met him but he seems like a decent chap.
- T. S. Eliot, poet, wrote part of The Waste Land in Margate in 1922, whilst recuperating from nervous strain.
- Marty Feldman, comic writer and comedian, began his career aged 15 as part of a circus-style act at Dreamland (Margate).
- Matthew Munson, author, lives and works in Thanet. Matthew Munson is a really nice bloke and you should buy him a coffee if you get the chance. His third book is coming out soon, so don’t miss it.
Are there any famous (or almost famous) writer that I have missed out? Tell me about them in the comments section below.