- Jeff Howe
15th May 2019
Secret Dover explores the lesser-known history of the Kent town of Dover through a fascinating selection of stories, unusual facts and attractive photographs.
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The history of the ancient town and port of Dover goes back to the Roman times and beyond. Lying at the shortest crossing point to France and continental Europe, the port has long played an important role in the history of this country. In Secret Dover Jeff Howe reveals the hidden history lurking behind Dover’s streets, buildings and seascapes. Along with the more obvious landmarks, there was the Grand Hotel, which was bombed out in 1940, and in it at the time, an American reporter who documented what it felt like to be bombed. There is the Promenade Pier with its pavilion and many performers, including such international names as violinist Marie Hall, and the lesser-known The Musical Vagabonds and their ringmaster, Harold Montague. A book called Secret Dover wouldn’t be complete without mentioning heroes too: Louisa Stewart, matron of the Western Heights Military Hospital during the First World War; and Leonard Deverson, who died while shielding a woman he didn’t know from an air raid during 1940. Jeff also scrutinizes the evidence for a Roman quay in Dover – 2,000 years ago it was well inland – and for the first time is able to place two long-gone Tudor harbour towers onto a modern map. This book reveals all this and more, and will appeal to those with an interest in this most ancient and fascinating of towns.