I have written about Margate from a few different perspectives – telling the story of Dreamland as a three hundred year old lady, or exploring lockdown as the last man alive after a catastrophe in the near future. But of course, I’m not alone. Here are just a few of the books set in or featuring Margate.
Dreamland – Rosa Rankin-Gee. The sea levels are rising, and Margate is on the edge.
Contraband – Dennis Wheatley. A story of international intrigue, set just before the Second World War.
All The Devils Are Here – David Seabrook. A dirty psychogeographical exploration of Margate and the North Kent coast.
70 Years A Showman – Lord George Sanger. A Victorian circus superstar’s memoir, the truth skewed by showmanship.
The Waste Land – TS Eliot. Written by a man who was having a breakdown against the backdrop of a society broken by the First World War.
Margate 1940 – John Betjeman. A single poem about why Britain’s worth fighting for.
Realm of Shells – Sonia Overall. Margate’s Shell Grotto is, one way or another, all fiction, and this is the story of its discovery.
I Can’t See My Little Willie – Douglas Livingstone. BBC’s Play For Today, set in the fictional Sea Dog pub in Margate
Strangeland – Tracey Emin. A story of sex and art.
Goldfinger – Ian Fleming. A beautiful description of a drive to, and across, the Isle of Thanet – wisely, Bond avoids downmarket Margate.
The Seaside Angel – Evie Grace. 17 year old Hannah works as a nurse at the Sea Bathing Hospital in Margate.
Last Orders – Graham Swift. Four Second World War veterans travel from their local pub in South London to Margate in order to scatter the ashes of their friend.
The Positively Last Performance – Geraldine McCaughrean. The ghosts of the historic Theatre Royal.
The Margate Maid – Lynne Franks. 1786, and milkmaid Molly Goodchild dreams of a better life.
Hannah and Hanna/ Hannah and Hanna in Dreamland – John Retallack. Hannah is 16, and Margate is her patch – or so she thinks until several Kosovo refugees arrive in search of asylum.
Love In A Mist – Pamela Wynne. Again, Margate is the place that a man who has been broken by his experiences of the First World War ends up.
Misadventures At Margate – Thomas Ingoldsby. A seedy tale of historic Margate, told in verse.
On Margate Sands – Bernard Kops. A humorous and poignant portrait of a group of dispossessed mental patients, who manage to survive against all the odds.
The Margate Murder Mystery – Burford Delannoy. Does what it says, really.
Das Capital – Karl Marx. Here to have his painful boils treated with sandpaper and creosote, Marx started writing an angry book about capitalism.