NABOKV-L post 0015174, Tue, 24 Apr 2007 10:20:09 -0400

Subject
Re: THOUGHTS: Dean Park?
Date
Body

Dear Priscilla,

I was unable to track down a person named Dean Park. I did, however, find that Dean Park was once the name of an estate in Dorset owned by William Dean. This was part of the larger area known as Bournemouth. Dean Park was composed of the areas known as West Cliff and King's Park. Bournemouth became a popular tourist area in the 19th century. Several writers of interest to VN lived or visited there. What follows is from this site:

http://www.bournemouth.co.uk/xxl/_lang/en/_site/pleasure/_area/out/_subArea/661955/_articleId/665323/index.html

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"The area of Westbourne glorifies in the fact that the author Robert Louis Stevenson set up home on the chinetop in Westcliff Road in 1885. Here, he wrote 'Kidnapped' and 'The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde'. The house was called 'Skerryvore' and was destroyed in an air raid during the war, but the foundations have been preserved and the garden remains as a memorial to the author.

"St. Peters Church in Bournemouth is where Shelley enthusiasts come to see the grave where the poet's heart is buried along with his wife. She is remembered for penning 'Frankenstein'.
"Also in the Shelley tomb lie her distinguished parents, William Godwin, author of 'Political Justice' and Mary Woolstonecraft, one of the original liberated women.

"Another famous writer who loved Bournemouth was J.R.R. Tolkein, famous author of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings * he was a frequent visitor to the Hotel Miramar in Bournemouth."
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I don't know how any of this relates to "optimystics," but I thought the relationship between Dean Park and these writers quite a coincidence.

Matt Roth


In Sebastian Knight's Doubtful Asphodel is the phrase "the golden
paradise of those whom Dean Park calls optimystics..." (175). Does
anyone (perhaps an 18th century specialist?) have any idea if there is
an historical referent for Dean Park?

Thanks,
Priscilla
(I won't be able to respond for a few weeks so expressions of gratitude
will be delayed)

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