MORGAN, Charles (1894-1958)
Plaque erected in 1992 by English Heritage at 16 Campden Hill Square, Holland Park, London, W8 7JY, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Journalism and Publishing, Literature
CHARLES MORGAN 1894-1958 Novelist and Critic lived and died here
The novelist and critic Charles Morgan lived at 16 Campden Hill Square for over 25 years. While there he wrote some of his most famous works, including Sparkenbroke and The Voyage.
NAVAL OFFICER TO NOVELIST
Morgan joined the Navy in 1907 but resigned six years later in order to pursue a literary career, which was only interrupted by the First World War. In 1921 he joined the staff of The Times and was the newspaper’s drama critic from 1926 until 1939.
His talents, however, were chiefly directed towards a sequence of novels, beginning with The Gunroom (1919) and ending with Challenge to Venus (1957). Many of his books – including the novels Sparkenbroke (1936), The Voyage (1940) and The River Line (1949) – were written during his time at number 16, which was bought largely with the proceeds of his successful work The Fountain (1932).
THE QUIET NEIGHBOUR
The resident of the adjoining property, number 15, described Morgan as ‘an intensely private neighbour, rarely exchanging words over the party-fence wall’. He apparently ‘did not suffer young children lightly and found the boisterous family next door to be unacceptably disturbing to the process of creation; remonstrances followed and we all had to keep quiet’.