BRIGHTON, ENGLAND -Get off the train at Brighton Station and you arrive right in the city centre where the seas is so close you can smell it as soon as you step outside.
In the Regency era, Brighton was transformed from a fishing village to a seaside playground for the wealthy and royalty. A must-see is the Royal Pavilion, built as a seaside pleasure palace for King George IV which has the grandeur of the Regency style mixed inexplicably with the then-exotic stylings from India and China.
Brighton was mentioned as a military camp in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
In Lydia’s imagination, a visit to Brighton comprised every possibility of earthly happiness. She saw, with the creative eye of fancy, the streets of that gay bathing-place covered with officers. She saw herself the object of attention, to tens and to scores of them at present unknown. She saw all the glories of the camp—its tents stretched forth in beauteous uniformity of lines, crowded with the young and the gay, and dazzling with scarlet; and, to complete the view, she saw herself seated beneath a tent, tenderly flirting with at least six officers at once.
Today, in daylight, Brighton bears little resemblance to the dark Graham Greene classic 1938 novel Brighton Rock.
The book, which has been made into a movie twice, is the story of the sinister teenager Pinkie who must navigate a criminal underworld full of touts and gangsters in the bright bleakness of the seaside town.