Saturday, September 09, 2006
The House Were Rolfe Lived
Last week on a rain-speckled, windy and warm Saturday I joined about 20 other people for a walk around places of Corvine significance in London. A lovely eclectic group from the young woman with a passion for Beardsley in her Brighton-lanes attire, to the city gent with his cravat and walking stick.
Between 1899 and 1904 Frederick Rolfe, aka Baron Corvo, was a lodger at 69 Broadhurst Gardens in London. Broadhurst Gardens in West Hampstead is a long, long road of mainly Victorian red-brick houses, two or three storeys tall, and you only have to squint your eyes slightly to get the 'gaslight and carriages' feel of the place. Of course, as luck would have it, the Victorian ambience breaks between no.s 59 and 97 where a WW2 bomb was dropped and a hideous post-war bungalow development stands in it's place. My guess is though that No. 59 is close enough to imagine the steps Rolfe walked up on his way home each night to his tempestuous landlady.