A Window in Bucks

This week’s post all started with a book token that I found being used as a bookmark. It was of the John Nash painting ‘A Window in Bucks’. 


 John Nash – A Book Token featuring A Window in Bucks

The painting was a view from John Nash’s house ‘Lane’s End’ in Meadle, Buckinghamshire. John Nash and his wife Christie moved to the village in 1922 and stayed until 1939. During his time there many friends visited including Eric Ravilious, Barnett Freedman and his brother Paul Nash.


 Eric Ravilious, Barnett Freedman and John Nash photographed by Christie Nash in April 1940. †

Meadle is a hamlet in Buckinghamshire, England. It is located to the north of the village of Monks Risborough and near Little Kimble. Today the population of Meadle is about 75. A village of barn conversions and very few new housing, most of the properties are farmhouses and labourers’ cottages build in traditional red clay brick with thatched roofs. A small stream rises in the village and ultimately joins the Thames.

The view of the book token is taken from the window at Meadle, The same view can be seen from the painting below.


 John Nash – Winter Landscape


The field line of this painted study line up to the bookplate above, the shape of the hedges and the three colours in the fields too. 


 John Nash – Window in Bucks, auto-lithograph, 1928.

In this lithograph the view out of the window is to the left-side, but still lines up with hedgerows today. What some have called ‘willow style fencing’ is actually a traditional hedgerow of what is most likely Hawthorn. 


 John Nash’s home ‘Lane’s End’, Meadle, Buckinghamshire.

One of the upstairs windows at the front of the house would have been where the paintings where made as the hedgerows in the painting line up to the hedges and field layouts today.


 Paul Nash – Lupins and Cactus, 1928

The painting  Lupins and Cactus is believed to have been painted by Paul Nash while staying at Meadle in 1928. The windows fit the style painted in the house and the flowers are likely to have been grown by John in the garden.


 John Nash – The Garden under Snow

The Garden under Snow is believed to be a view from the back of the house and the garden of Lane’s End

Ravilious: The Watercolours By James Russell

The Unwelcome Guest: Hans Christian Andersen & Charles Dickens.

In June 1847, Andersen met Dickens at a party hosted by the Countess of Blessington. Both authors respected each others works and Andersen was a fan of Dickens, they both walked on the veranda of Gore House at the party. After this brief meeting they both exchanged letters for many years and planned to meet again.

Gad’s Hill

Ten years passed and Andersen visited Dickens on a trip to his house at Gad’s Hill, Kent. The trip was meant to be a short visit but much to the annoyance of the Dickens household, Andersen stayed for five weeks! Tensions where high in the Dickens house before Andersens visit as Dickens, 45, has started a relationship with Ellen Ternan, 18. A year later Dickens wife, Catherine, would leave him, taking one child and leaving the other nine children to the care of her sister Georgina.


“He was a bony bore, and stayed on and on” was the daughter comment on Andersen’s long visit. To all accounts Andersen was a difficult guest, a selfish, aggressive and alternated between bouts of depression and suicide, while speaking in very poor English. They would go to London together to balls, plays and parties as well as spend the days together at Gad’s Hill.
Dickens stopped all correspondence between them after the disastrous stay, much to the great disappointment and confusion of Andersen, who had quite enjoyed the visit from accounts in letters to his friends, and never understood why his letters to Dickens went unanswered.