The Tramping Methodist - more tramping in Kent! Find!
After a follower on the BBC Radio Kent website drew our attention to the author Sheila Kaye-Smith, another literary search was set in motion. I confess I had not heard of Kaye-Smith before, but was intrigued to find out more. It turns out that virtually all of her books are out of print, and those in libraries have mostly been consigned to the reserve stock shelves. Luckily the Centre for Kentish Studies has some of her novels, and strongroom stalwart Ian nobly obliged to collect a copy of The Tramping Methodist for me to read in the search room. (So no snuggling under the duvet with this book!)
The Tramping Methodist is a historical novel, set in the closing years of the 18th Century. It was published in 1908, when Sheila Kaye-Smith was just 21, and was her first published novel. In total she published 31 novels. She also wrote in other genres, including biography, collaborating with G B Stern on two books on Jane Austen.
The setting at the start of The Tramping Methodist is rural Sussex. The story moves briefly into Hampshire, then back through Sussex, and on into the Dens of Kent - Rolvenden, Benenden, Biddenden, Tenterden, Plurenden ..... It follows the path of Humphrey Lyte, a young man who has decided to turn his back on his home, determined to spread the Gospel in the countryside, working as a farm labourer and sleeping rough as he travels.
Kaye-Smith clearly knew her counryside and the ways of country people intimately. Sights and sounds are portrayed distinctly and affectionately, but this is a countryside in all its earthy rawness, and never sentimental. As the tramping saga develops, drama, passion, moral dilemma, murder and romance are all woven into the story. A gripping read!
Perhaps its time to give more of Sheila Kaye-Smith's novels an airing?
4 October 2009 from Julia
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- Out of the Blue by Val Rutt
- The Kent Factor
- Grubby Tales from Beardy Ardagh
- The Men of Kent March On
- The Curse of Aphis Minimus
- One True Crime
- Why Pick Lydden?
- From Maidstone Prison to the Wide Sargasso Sea!
- Dover- Life's a Beach
- The ideal home
- The Tramping Methodist - more tramping in Kent!
- The Small Years by Frank Kendon
- Everyone Loves Rupert Bear!
- On the write tracks in literary Kent - Day 4
- On the write tracks in literary Kent - Day 3
- On the write tracks in literary Kent - Day 2
- On the write tracks in literary Kent Day 1
- On the write tracks in literary Kent
- Penshurst is the Place
- From Country Pursuits to the Western Front
- Edmund Blunden - echoes from Yalding church bells
- Jane Austen walk
- John Knatchbull from Quarterdeck to Gallows
- Catherine Aird
- More from the tramps .....
- Van Gogh in Ramsgate?
- Tissot A Passing Storm c1876
- The Downfall of a Reading Detective
- Male Georgian/Regency authors
- Bluestocking writers
- Sketches By Boz - We must leave town!
- If You're Going to Snodland...
- The Kent Tramp Trail
- The Altar in the Loft
- Regency and Georgian Literature with a Kent Connection
- Jane Austen and Godmersham by The Rev. S. Graham Brade-Birks
- Kent Clues!
- Poetry dropping in Sandwich
- Reading Detectives film
- Out of the Blue - continued
- Denton Welch
- 45 London Road Sevenoaks
- To Penshurst
- Kent Finale!
- Mon 21 Sep 10.30 am DETECTIVE EVENT AT CENTRE FOR KENTISH STUDIES, MAIDSTONE
- Cat Lovers
- W H Davies
- Silence on the home front as my hard drive has died
- Jeffery Farnol
- Denton Welch, a look back to simpler times
- What Jane Austen really looked like !
- Life in the Country: With Quotations by Jane Austen and Silhouettes by Her Nephew James Edward Austen-Leigh
- First Meeting for Kent
- Jane Austen - Monster Mash Up
- Launch of Kent's Reading Detectives Team on 12 August
- Jane Austen Heritage Link
- Reading Detectives are starting soon in Kent
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