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March 09, 2007

Man of Kent, or a Kentish Man?

Soon, and after a few days acting as professionally, seriously and sanely as I possibly can in London during my usual first 48 hours of jet-lagged fog and ill-humour (an ironic curse I haven't shared that freely), I'll be in Kent. As with London, and with the County of Suffolk to the north, from where my mother's family came to Massachusetts via Ipswich 373 years ago, I am completely and hopelessly in love with Kent, mainly the "eastern" part. The County of Kent is the southeastern doorway to the British Isles--it has even more history, legend and myth than London. Lots, and maybe even too much, has happened here during the past 2500 years...

Eventually, in 51 BC, Julius Caesar called it Cantium, as home of the Cantiaci. Augustine founded what became the Anglican Church here in about 600 AD. And of course Thomas Becket, Chaucer's "holy blissful martyr", was killed here (Canterbury) in 1170. I'll stay with lawyer friends in a tiny and ancient rural village I've visited before--during my last visit not long ago, I helped Jane and Michael destroy and begin to re-build their home's 300+ year old fireplace, and I will inspect the finished hearth--and then leave with them for meetings in Austria. They work in legal London but live near Canterbury, in what is traditionally East Kent; therefore, I'll be among "Men of Kent" and "Maids of Kent".

Posted by JD Hull at March 9, 2007 11:02 PM


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