Denham Jordan

Denham Jordan (1836-1920) was born in Milton Regis, Kent and though he moved with his family to Dorking in about 1849 he always signed himself “Son of the Marshes”. A house painter and decorator by trade; he worked on the restoration of Clandon Park. Jordan lived for a time at 9 Cotmandene and later moved to Lincoln Road and finally Hampstead Road until his final illness forced him into the Infirmary.

He was a keen observer of nature and a talented painter of wild life but was best known during his life for his descriptions of wild life of hill and stream which first appeared in Blackwood’s Magazine. The articles were eventually published in ten books, among which are “On Surrey Hills” and “Woodland, Hill and Stream”.

His obituary claimed that there was nothing better in the English language than his pictures of wildlife. He wrote with minute detail and charm of the countryside he knew.

This beautiful book features the paintings of Denham Jordan, a Dorking artist, who spent time in the North Kent marshes. 

The North Kent Marshes can be a cold, damp, lonely place or a bright, warm refuge from the urban hurly-burly.

Their savage beauty inspired many writers and artists including Dickens and Turner.

In times past few would venture into their disease ridden swamps.

Haunted by smugglers, the saltings and seaways played host to preventative men and coastguards.

When war threatened, the army and navy mounted guard on their rivers, creeks and foreshores.

The marsh folk have grown the crops and raised the cattle and sheep to feed the London market.

The marshland nature reserves are internationally important for the future well-being and survival of breeding and migratory birds.

In these days of industrial and environmental peril this wilderness on London’s doorstep is threatened as never before.

The history of the marshes and their people has been rarely told.

The book is priced at £20.00. Buy it online here.

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