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Writing Kitty's Story

Updated: Mar 31, 2022

A story has to begin somewhere, here's a little hint how this one began.

This rather haughty image of Kitty is an engraving made in 1862 taken from a painting.

I am not an historian but rather a storyteller and the few known facts of Kitty's life were what caught my imagination. The story of Kitty Canham has been told in these parts of Essex for many years. There are various accounts of her life, which differ, sometimes quite dramatically. I used the heart of the story as a springboard, the rest was altered in order to weave together a good story.

Kitty didn't marry until she was 25. It was this that got me wondering what the circumstances might be that caused the delay. She was said to be beautiful so it wasn't that she was not attractive. A story began to unfold in my mind, not only about her circumstances but also about her character. Were there things about her that meant a marriage would be a challenge? I started to write and soon her character and the character of those around her, began to form.

But it was the landscape in which we both live and lived that gave me a real connection with Kitty. At the end of my lane you will find the backwaters. The landscape may have altered in 300 years, but surely it must carry a hint of the same wildness and wistfulness. Check out my images on the website.

Lockdowns offered opportunity for so many of us to write. I was no exception. It meant an empty desk, free of distractions and for that I am grateful.

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