Posted 16 October 2012 by Andrew Gardner
One author whose work often features on the bookshelves of our Sussex holiday cottages is the late Georgette Heyer. A hard-working and prolific writer, her tales of romance and intrigue are synonymous with Regency Sussex, as she lived in Horsham, Brighton and Hove during the 1930s and set many of her novels in the county. Apparently she carried out such highly detailed research into the period, its costumes, artefacts and architecture that it's amazing she found time to write so much - but she did, with a light but authentic touch. Some might call it chick-lit, but it's always fun and her historical details are spot on. And there's often smuggling involved - an industry, if you can call it that, which played a huge part in the lives of people in coastal Sussex over the centuries.
Sussex is still full of beautiful Regency architecture, the most famous example of course being the Royal Pavilion in Brighton. But many of our seafront towns have fine examples that tourists and connoisseurs alike will enjoy discovering. At 2, Lansdowne Place in Hove you can spot the blue plaque dedicated to architect Charles Augustin Busby (a man with a passion for Romanesque pillars), who designed the Kemp Town estate and the Brunswick Town development which you might think of as the east and west flanks of Brighton and Hove. Kemp Town, incidentally, was named after wealthy local MP Thomas Read Kemp.
Brighton doesn't have a monopoly on the style, though: the Regency style of St Leonards on Sea was intended to complement the older town of Hastings and it's fun to visit other Sussex towns and seek out the Regency influence when you're staying in one of our gorgeous Sussex properties. And what of Mr Busby? He died in 1834 after going bankrupt, along with other speculators on the Brunswick development, when good times turned to recession.