Hayley, Cowper and Smith – Eartham, Slindon and Bignor

There are a number of other important writers who lived bordering the Slindon Estate.TurnerSmith Charlotte Turner Smith (1749-1806) was a Sussex writer whose works have been credited with influencing Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. She revived the Sonnet form which was later used by Keats and Wordsworth. Bignor Park was her childhood home and remained a focal point for her poems. Professor Judith Hawley noted that not only did Smith grow up on the South Downs, but that she read up about them and wished to educate her readers about the natural and moral significance of the landscape. Writing in The Guardian (2004) Smith’s The Emigrants (1793) is noted as paralleling the fate of those driven out of France by the revolution with the sufferings of victims of the British state machinery. Book II opens on the Downs, which afforded to the South a view of the Sea; to the North of the Weald of Sussex  – a similar location to Belloc’s favourite, perhaps: Continue reading