The Love Nest at Condette, 1860-64. Dickens already knew "Our Watering Place" well since he had visited Boulogne in the summers of 1852, 1854, and 1856. So near to England by Calais ferry, nearby Condette was another world, the ideal spot to stay with his young mistress. The modest farmhouse with brick-walled courtyard (since stuccoed) and ample mews had a number of bedrooms alternating with sittingrooms, and was extremely private; passersby could not glimpse in, but the far side had an unobstructed southern exposure, with excellent light for writing in all the sittingrooms. The kitchen of the 1860s is now a garage, and the mews has since been converted into further rooms, but otherwise the building (dating from 1845) is unchanged.

The wall surrounding the house and a portrait of Dickens.

Photograph 2012 and text by Philip V. Allingham. Formatting by George P. Landow. [You may use this photograph without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite it in a print one.]



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Last modified Valentine's Day 2012