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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
16th January 1906 Born today: Diana Winyard, London, actress (Cavalcade)
16th January 1794 Edward Gibbon, historian (Decline and Fall), dies in London at 56
16th January 1759 British Museum opens in London
Ernest Dowson Died Here
Poet Ernest Dowson died of an absinthe binge here
Location: 159 Sangley Road, Catford
Description: Ernest Dowson was the decandent British poet who fell in love with the daughter of a restaurant owner and pursued her unsuccessfully.
Ernest Dowson, is still known for several famous phrases: 'gone with the wind', 'stranger in a strange land', 'I've been faithful to thee in my fashion' and 'the days of wine and roses'.
A man of considerable charm and urbanity when sober, Dowson was rendered 'almost literally insane' by absinthe. Reportedly Downson never sought alcohol addiction treatment. He picked fights with guardsmen and was repeatedly hauled before the magistrates ('What, you here again Mr Dowson?').
Writer Robert Sherard one day found Dowson almost penniless in a wine bar and took him back to his house here (formerly called Sandhurst Gardens).
Dowson spent the last six weeks of his life at Sherard's cottage and died there of alcoholism (or some say of tuberculosis) at the age of 32 in the arms of Sherards wife.