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TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
Gothic Author Riddell lived here
This is where Gothic novelist Charlotte Riddell lived.
Location: East Gate Lodge, St Ann's Road, Tottenham
Description: Charlotte Eliza Lawson Riddell (1832-1906) was a successful Gothic novelist, author of 56 books, novels and short stories and part owner and editor of St James's Magazine. She was born in Ireland as Charlotte Cowan.
She is best known for her ghost stories published as Weird Stories, here on this part of the front of St Ann's Hospital.
In her 1874 book Above Suspicion she rails against the changes to the local surroundings as suburban trappings encroach:
Sixteen years ago no more rural village could have been found within five miles of the General Post Office than West Green. It was as utterly in the country as though situated a hundred miles from London, and by a natural consequence it was country in its ways, habits, and manners. The various lanes leading to it from Stamford Hill, Tottenham, Hornsey, and Southgate were rural, which they certainly are not nowAs for Hanger Lane, no one had yet dreamed of the evil days to come, when mushroom villas should be built upon the ground that not long before was regarded as an irreclaimable morasswhen at first a tavern and then a church (the two invariable pioneers of that which, for some unknown reason, we call civilisation) appeared on the scene, and brought London following at their heels . . . when, in a word, Hanger Lane should be improved off the face of the earth and in the interest of speculative builders . . called, as it is at present, St. Anns Road, it has only taken sixteen years to change West Green from an extremely pretty village to an eminently undesirable suburb.
She moved away in 1873.