Satis House

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Satis House as depicted in Great Expectations.
Restoration House from The Vines

Satis House is a fictional estate in the Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations.

The name Satis House comes from the Latin satis for 'enough', and is the name of a real mansion in Rochester, Kent, near where Dickens lived. It gained its name from a comment by Queen Elizabeth I who stayed there as a guest of the owner, Richard Watts. As she left, Watts asked his queen if she had been comfortable during her stay. Offhandedly, she replied: "Satis".[1]

According to Dickens' biographer John Forster, the novelist also used aspects of the nearby Restoration House.[2][3][4]

The character Estella Havisham, Miss Havisham's adopted daughter, discusses the name with Pip, the protagonist:

Pip: 'Is Manor House the name of this house, miss?'
Est.: 'One of its names, boy.'
Pip.: 'It has more than one, then, miss?'
Est.: 'One more. Its other name was Satis; which is Greek, or Latin, or Hebrew, or all three—or all one to me—for enough.'
Pip: 'Enough House,' said I; 'that's a curious name, miss.'
Est.: 'Yes,' she replied; 'but it meant more than it said. It meant, when it was given, that whoever had this house, could want nothing else. They must have been easily satisfied in those days, I should think.'

Pip's description notes the iron bars in the windows of the house, including some detail on a boarded-up window. There is also a large brewery on the side of the house connected to the house by lanes and an open wooden gate.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "City Of Rochester Society - A Brief History of the City". city-of-rochester.org.uk. 
  2. ^ "John Forster, "The Life of Charles Dickens" (8)". lang.nagoya-u.ac.jp. Retrieved 2009-12-06. 
  3. ^ "Restoration House reveals its history". Medway Council press release. 2006-07-25. Retrieved 2006-11-22. 
  4. ^ "City Of Rochester Society - Guided Tours". city-of-rochester.org.uk.