by Stephen Channing
The humorous anecdotes, refined poems, astounding newspaper articles and other materials that are gathered here in The Margate Tales present a vivid picture of this seaside town as it rose to become one of Britain's most popular resorts. Just as Chaucer's Canterbury Tales help us get a feel for how the people in England behaved and thought in the Middle Ages, Channing's Margate Tales provide us with a unique insight into the people of Thanet as they were described in the 18th and early to mid 19th centuries. The illuminating and entertaining accounts range from furious battles in the letters pages, to hilarious pastiches, witty verse and surprising discoveries (including six pages of information on Margate's first roller coaster - long before Dreamland's Scenic Railway), illustrated with over 70 contemporary drawings. The end result is that as with Chaucer, one realizes how little has in fact changed.
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